A 29,000 fall in claimant-count unemployment in July and August – driven by an increase in numbers leaving the register rather than fewer joining – could be earlier-than-expected evidence of the economic pick-up forecast here to occur during the second half, based on solid real money expansion since late 2011.
The chart shows monthly GDP (derived from data on industrial, services and construction output) together with an indicator designed to estimate the GDP trend based on changes in the claimant count. The last GDP data point for June was depressed by the double bank holiday, with early July evidence suggesting a strong rebound. The indicator, meanwhile, has climbed well above its 2011 temporary peak, suggesting that GDP will reach a new recovery high before the end of 2012. This would entail sequential rises averaging at least 0.6% in the third and fourth quarters.