COVID-19 SERVICE: We are heightening our efforts to assist the UK retail & leisure industry through this challenging period. Explore this service now… COVID-19 SERVICE

GDP Q1 2020 Quarterly National Accounts

Joint-largest contraction in GDP since Q3 1979

  • GDP fell by 2.2% in Q1 2020 from the previous quarter, revised downwards by 0.2 percentage points from the previous estimate – the joint largest fall since Q3 1979.
  • Compared with the same quarter a year ago, the UK economy fell by 1.7%, downwardly revised 0.1 percentage points from the previous estimate.
  • GDP increased by 1.5% between 2018 and 2019, revised upwards by 0.1 percentage points from the previous estimate.
  • Services output contracted 2.3%, in Q1 2020, a 0.4 percentage points downward revision from the previous estimate. Declines were reported in most sub-industries, notably education, wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, food and beverage, accommodation and travel agencies.
  • Production output is estimated to have fallen by an upwardly revised 1.5% in Q1 2020 driven by a revision to manufacturing output as new data was made available on the manufacture of pharmaceutical goods.
  • Construction output fell by 1.7% in Q1 2020, upwardly revised from the previous estimate. The slowdown in construction growth resonated with other data sources with the coronavirus cited as the main reason for the reduced level of activity. 
  • Concerningly, household consumption declined 2.9% in the first quarter of 2020, revised downwards 1.2 percentage points and now the largest decline since Q3 1979. 
  • This was driven by sharp declines in spending in the transport, restaurants and hotels, and clothing and footwear categories.
  • The household savings ratio accelerated to 8.6% in Q1 2020, compared with 6.6% in Q4 2019. 

UK GDP, Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2008 to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020

Source: ONS

Back to Retail Economic News