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GDP Monthly Estimate: May 2022

UK GDP is estimated to have risen by 0.5% in May 2022

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

  • GDP rose by 0.5% in May, following a decline of 0.2% in April.
  • Monthly economic activity was 1.7% above its February 2020 pre-pandemic level. 
  • All three main sectors (Construction, Production, Services) rose in May.

Services (+0.4%) 

Services rose by 0.4% and was the main contributor to the monthly rise in GDP. This follows a fall of 0.2% in April 2022 (revised up from -0.3% in April). 

The largest positive contributor to services growth was human health and social work (+2.1%) despite a reduction in NHS Test and Trace activity, supported by human health activities which rose by 2.5%. 

Output in consumer-facing services disappointed, falling by 0.1% in May, from 2.2% growth in April. The monthly decline was driven by sports activities, amusement and recreation activities (-5.3%) and retail trade (-0.5%). This was offset by travel agency, tour operator and other reservation services (+11.0%) as consumers booked holidays ahead of their first restriction-free summer in three years. 

Overall, services grew by 0.1% in the three months to May 2022, with growth seen in 9 of the 14 services sectors.

Construction (+1.5%) 

Construction rose 1.5% in May and is notably at its highest level (£15,053m) since monthly records began 12 years ago. This follows upwardly revised growth of 0.3% in April. New work (+2.8%) supported the monthly rise despite tough trading conditions with costs remaining at elevated levels. This was slightly offset by easing growth in the repair and maintenance component (0.4%).

May's strong performance means that Construction output is now 4.1% above its pre-pandemic level (Feb 2020). 

Overall, in the three months to May, construction output rose by 3.0% compared to the previous quarter. Increases in both new work, and repair and maintenance (2.1% and 4.1% respectively) contributed to this growth, with 7 out of the 9 sectors seeing an increase. 

Production (+0.9%) 

Production rose 0.9% in May, driven by growth of 1.4% in manufacturing. There was also a 0.3% rise in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply. 

12 out of 13 manufacturing sub-sectors rose supporting a 1.4% rise for the overall manufacturing category in May. 

Overall, production increased by 0.5% in the three months to May, with growth in all sub-sectors including a 1.1% rise in mining and quarrying and 1.9% uplift in water supply and sewerage.

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