4 hard economic facts you need to know today

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released national accounts for the third quarter of 2013. These are the top figures you need to know.

GDP went up

Gross Domestic Product grew by 0.8% over the quarter, with output growing in the services, construction and production industries by 0.8%, 2.6% and 0.6% respectively. Within production, manufacturing made a 0.8% improvement.

The economy is still smaller than the pre-recession peak, but not by as much as was first thought

The ONS recalculated some of its figures using new data, which showed growth in 2012 was much better than previously thought, and the 2013 recovery had been more marked.

Taking into account the new data, the ONS said the economy in Q3 of 2013 was in fact only 2% smaller than the pre-downturn peak, compared with 2.5% previously estimated.

Women are working more hours

The average number of hours worked by workers in the UK has gone back to the level it was at before the recession, due to more workers in production industries.

However, as of Q3 in 2013, women were doing more hours than before the recession – an increase amounting to an extra week of work per year compared with mid-2009.

The future is still uncertain

Productivity has remained relatively stagnant since it fell in 2009. This fall and then lack of improvement is likely to be one of the main contributors to the reduction in real wages experienced since the onset of the economic downturn. However, the ONS said it was difficult to tell how this would play out in 2014.

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