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GDP Monthly Estimate: April 2022

UK GDP is estimated to have fallen by 0.3% in April 2022

Monthly GDP index, April 2007 until April 2022, 2019 = 100. Source: ONS

  • GDP fell by 0.3% in April, following a decline of 0.1% in March. 
  • Monthly economic activity was 0.9% above its February 2020 pre-pandemic level.
  • All three main sectors (Services, Construction, Production) declined in April

Services (-0.3%)

Services fell 0.3% in April, and this was the main contributor to the decline in GDP. This is the second consecutive month of negative growth in the services sector, following a fall of 0.2% in March. 

The largest negative contributor to services growth in April was human health and social work (-5.6%). This reflects the significant reduction in NHS Test and Trace activity as the UK learns to live with Covid. 

Output in consumer-facing services grew by 2.6% in April, following a fall of 1.8% in March. This was driven by improved performance in the wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles, which increased 15.2% following a steep drop in March (the weakest March for new car registrations since 1998, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders). Retail trade grew by 1.4% in April, led by robust growth in food stores in the run up to Easter. 

Overall, services growth was flat in the three months to April, compared with the previous three months (Nov-Jan). Consumer-facing services remain 4.4% below their pre-pandemic levels (Feb 2020), while all other services were 2.6% above.

Construction (-0.4%)

Construction fell 0.4% in April - the first monthly decrease since October 2021. However, this decline is coming off record monthly output of £14,994m in March, when demand was exceptionally strong due to the repair work required after the storms experienced in late February. 

Despite the monthly fall, construction output was still 3.3% above its pre-pandemic level (Feb 2020) in April. 

Overall, in the three months to April, construction output rose by 2.9% compared to the previous quarter. Increases in both new work, and repair and maintenance (2.2% and 4.0% respectively) contributed to this growth, with 8 out of the 9 sectors seeing an increase.

Production (-0.6%)

Production fell 0.6% in April, driven by a significant contraction in manufacturing (-1.0%) as businesses reported the impact of price increases and supply chain shortages. 

8 out of 13 manufacturing sub-sectors declined, including a 4.6% drop in the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical production. 

Overall, in the three months to April, production output increased 0.1%, with growth of 1.7% in mining and quarrying, 0.6% in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, and 0.3% in water supply and sewerage. This was almost entirely offset by a decrease of 0.2% in manufacturing.

GDP Sector Breakdown

Source: ONS

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