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GDP Monthly Estimate: February 2022

UK GDP grew by a modest 0.1% in February with output now 1.5% above pre-pandemic levels

Monthly GDP index, February 2020 until February 2022, 2019 = 100. Source: ONS

  • GDP rose by a subdued 0.1% in February, following 0.8% growth in January.
  • Monthly economic activity is now 1.5% above its pre-pandemic level (Feb 2020).
  • Services rose by 0.2% offsetting declines in both construction and manufacturing.

Services (+0.2%)

Services grew 0.2% in February, following a 0.8% rise in January, as the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions had a positive impact on travel and tourism demand.

Tourism-related industries bounced back strongly in February following weakness over the festive period caused by the Omicron variant. There was significant growth across both accommodation (+23.0%) and travel agency, tour operator and other reservation service activities (+33.1%).

The largest negative contributor to services growth in February was human health and social work activities (-3.8%).This largely reflects a fall back from high levels in NHS Test and Trace and vaccination activity in December and January.

Overall, services grew by 0.8% in the three months to February, compared with the previous three months (Sep-Nov). Services output is now 2.1% above its pre-pandemic level (Feb 2020), although consumer-facing services remain 5.2% below

Construction (-0.1%)

Construction fell 0.1% in February on the back of 1.6% growth in January, with output 1.1% above Feb 2020’s pre-pandemic level.

The small decrease in monthly construction output in February 2022 was driven solely by a decrease in repair and maintenance (-0.5%), while new work saw a small rise (+0.1%).

Anecdotal evidence suggested the storms experienced between 16 and 21 February resulted in projects being delayed as more working days were lost on sites and premises than normal for this time of the year. Sourcing construction products also continues to be a challenge, particularly for smaller firms.

Overall, in the three months to February, construction output increased by 2.4% compared to the previous quarter.  

Production (-0.6%)

Production output dropped 0.6% in February, with all four sub-sectors declining. This follows growth of 0.7% in January.

Manufacturing (-0.4%) was the main driver of negative growth in February. Contractions of 5.4% in transport equipment manufacturing (driven entirely by the fall in manufacture of cars), 4.3% in the manufacture of computer and electronic products, and 5.0% in manufacture of chemicals and chemical products were slightly offset by manufacture of pharmaceutical products and preparations, which saw growth of 9.8%.

Production output remains 1.9% below February 2020’s pre-pandemic level, with manufacturing sitting 0.7% below.

Overall, in the three months to February, production output increased 1.0%, with growth of 1.7% in manufacturing, 0.1% in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, and 1.7% in water supply and sewerage. This was partially offset by a decrease of 6.6% in mining and quarrying.

GDP Sector Breakdown

Source: ONS

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