Economy tracker: GDP

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BBC's Declan Curry explains just what GDP stands for and why we should care

The UK's economy grew by 2.6% in 2014, the fastest pace since 2007 and up from 1.7% in 2013, official figures have shown.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the economy grew by 0.5% in the final three months of 2014. That was a slowdown from 0.7% growth recorded in the previous three months.

Understanding GDP:
  • Gross domestic product is a measure of a country's economic activity, including all the services and goods produced in a year
  • It is based on a huge survey of businesses and government departments compiled by the Office for National Statistics
  • An economy is generally considered to be in recession if it has contracted for two consecutive quarters
  • The first figures for any quarter are known as the "flash estimate" as they are based on incomplete data. The figures are revised at least twice as more information is collected

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