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GDP Monthly Estimate: August 2022

UK GDP is estimated to have fallen 0.3% in August

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

  • GDP fell by an estimated 0.3% in August, following a rise of 0.1% in July.
  • GDP also fell by 0.3% in the three months to August compared with the three months to May.
  • Construction was the only sector to record growth (0.4%), as Services (-0.1%) and Production (-1.8%) both declined.

Services (-0.1%)

Services fell by 0.1% in August, following growth of 0.3% in July. Declines across human health and social work activities, arts, entertainment and recreation activities and retail trade were partially offset by growth in professional, scientific and technical activities. 

Output in consumer-facing services fell by 1.8% in August, following growth of 0.7% in July. The largest negative contributing industry was sports and recreation activities, which fell by 9.4% in the month. This follows strong July growth of 12.7% in which several large sporting events took place including the Women’s Euros and Wimbledon. 

The second-largest contributor to the fall in consumer-facing services was retail trade, which fell by 1.6% in August. This is the largest fall since December 2021, with the retail industry falling nine times in the last 10 months – a downward trend seen since last summer following the lifting of restrictions on hospitality; and more recently, rising prices and cost of living concerns affecting sales volumes. 

Consumer-facing services were 8.9% below their pre-pandemic levels (February 2020) in August, while all other services were 2.1% above.

Overall, services fell by 0.1% in the three months to August, with negative growth seen in 7 of the 14 services sectors.

Construction (0.4%)

Construction grew by 0.4% in August, after growth of 0.1% in July. The increase in monthly construction output in August came solely from a 1.9% increase in new work, as repair and maintenance saw a decrease of 2.0% on the month. 

Construction output saw a slight increase of 0.1% in the three months to August. This is the 10th consecutive period of growth in the three-month on three-month series, however, the slowest rate of growth since the three months to October 2021, which saw a fall of 0.7%.

Production (-1.8%)

Production output fell by 1.8% in August, with negative growth in three of the four sectors. This is the sector’s third consecutive fall, after falling by 1.1% in July. 

Manufacturing was the main driver of negative production growth, falling by 1.6% on the month. Notable falls were seen in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products and preparations (-6.0%), manufacture of transport equipment (-3.0%) and manufacture of basic metals and metal products (-2.8%). 

Oil and gas production also fell as more scheduled North Sea summer maintenance took place than usual.  

Overall, production decreased by 1.5% in the three months to August, mainly due to manufacturing, which fell by 2.2%. There were also declines in mining and quarrying, and water supply and sewerage, which fell by 2.7% and 0.7% respectively. Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply was the only sector that saw growth, up by 3.5% over the same period.

GDP Sector Breakdown

Source: ONS

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