Exports of goods fell by 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, due to a decrease in exports of fuel. Exports of services fell by 1.8 percent in 2012 quarter four due to decreases in other business and insurance, partly offset by an increase in communication services. In the fourth quarter of 2012 imports of goods fell by 0.5 percent due to falls in manufactured goods. Imports of services fell 2.5 percent in the latest quarter due to decreases in travel and other business services.
The deficit in net trade was £6.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with a deficit in net trade of £5.3 billion in the third quarter.
Household final consumption expenditure increased by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, an upward revision of 0.2 percentage points from the previous estimate, following an increase of 0.3 percent in 2012 quarter three. The level of household expenditure is now 1.6 percent higher than in 2011 quarter four. The largest increases in household spending in the latest quarter were in housing, water, electricity, gas & other and food and non-alcoholic drink. The largest decrease was in miscellaneous goods & services. Household expenditure has shown positive growth in all quarters of 2012, ranging from 0.3 percent in quarter three, to 0.5 percent in the second quarter, with annual growth of 1.2 percent.
The households’ saving ratio was estimated to be 7.1 percent in 2012, the highest since the 1997 estimate of 8.1 percent. Real household disposable income increased by 2.1 percent between 2011 and 2012. This is the highest growth since 2003 when it rose by 2.7 percent.
The largest contributions to the increases in the households’ saving ratio and real household disposable income were an estimated £20.1 billion increase in wages and salaries in 2012 compared with 2011.