GDP Monthly estimate May 2019

UK gross domestic product (GDP) returned to growth in May, up by 0.3% month-on-month, as production picked up again. The bounce back followed the temporary shutdown of car factories ahead of the UK’s original EU departure date, which contributed to a 0.4% contraction in GDP in April.

Monthly GDP for March has been revised up by 0.2 percentage points to 0.1%. Despite this, growth in the three months to May slowed to 0.3%.

Growth, three-months on previous three-months, UK, April to June 2018 until March to May 2019

Source: ONS

Production

Production returned to growth in May, up by 1.4% in the month, following a sharp 2.9% decline in April when car production plummeted 24.0% as several car firms shut down production around the original Brexit date.

Although car production picked up in May, the levels of output are below those seen in the months prior to April, which dragged overall production growth to 0.3% in the three months to May.

Construction

Construction was flat in the three months to May, following 1.0% growth in the quarter to April, as private housing repair and maintenance slipped back significantly.

On a monthly basis, construction returned to growth, up by 0.6% in May. This was driven by private industrial other new work.

Services

Meanwhile, growth in the dominant services sector was flat in May. There has been a marked slowdown in services growth since July 2018, with growth on a rolling three-month basis remaining at 0.3% in May.

Retail continued to support growth in May, while information and communication decreased for the first time following half a year of growth.

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