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GDP Q2 2020 Quarterly National Accounts

GDP records its largest contraction on record

  • GDP fell by 19.8%% in Q2 2020 from the previous quarter, revised up by 0.6 percentage points from the previous estimate – the largest quarterly contraction on record. This follows a quarterly decline of 2.5% in Q1.
  • Compared with the same quarter a year ago, the UK economy fell by 21.5%.
  • GDP increased by 1.3% between 2018 and 2019, revised down by 0.2 percentage points from the previous estimate.
  • All components recorded record falls in the second quarter; services (-19.2%), production (-16.3%) and construction (-35.7%).
  • Services output contracted by 19.2%, in Q2 2020, revised up by 0.7 percentage points from the previous estimate. Cumulatively, services output fell by 21.3% in the first six months of the year. The decline was driven by a large fall in April (-18.5%) following the introduction of government restrictions.
  • Within the services component, output of accommodation, and food services fell by 85.7% while wholesale and retail trade fell by 20.7%. The ONS noted that footfall in retail parks, shopping centres and high streets was around 70% lower in the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago.
  • Production output fell by a revised 16.3% in Q2 2020 with all four sub-industries reporting a decline. Cumulatively, production output fell by 18.1% in the first six months of the year.
  • Manufacturing output fell by a revised 21.1% in Q2 2020 driven by the manufacture of transport equipment (-47.1%).
  • Construction output fell by 35.7% in Q2 2020, following a 2.8% decline in Q1. Cumulatively, production output fell by 37.6% in the first six months of the year. Private new housing activity reported a notable decline of 49.5% due to social distancing measures being introduced during the second quarter.
  • Household consumption declined by 23.6% in the second quarter of 2020 – the largest contraction on record. The main drivers of the decline in household consumption were restaurants and hotels, transport and recreation and culture. 
  • The households savings ratio increased to the record high rate of 29.1% in Q2, up from 9.6% in Q1 2020. Households reduced their consumption spending by a record £80.5 billion (-24.2%) in Q2.

UK, Q2 2008 to Q2 2020

Source: ONS

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