United Kingdom: The economy performs well in July, supported by temporary factors
September 10, 2018
According to new monthly GDP data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the economy expanded 0.3% in July over the prior month in seasonally-adjusted terms. The figure beat market analysts’ expectations and was above June’s 0.1% expansion. In the May–July period, the economy expanded 0.6% over the previous rolling quarter (February–April).
July’s reading was driven by the services sector—which accounts for around 80% of GDP—particularly the accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific and technical activities sub-sectors. A prolonged period of good weather, which coincided with the final weeks of the World Cup, likely lifted consumers’ spirits in July. Meanwhile, industrial production increased on the back of a stronger mining and quarrying sub-sector, while output in the construction sector also rose.
Beginning in July, the ONS changed the way it reports economic growth. Along with monthly GDP estimates, the ONS now only publishes two quarterly GDP releases, rather than three, with the first release to be published around 40 days after the end of the quarter (compared to 25 days currently). The aim is to make the GDP by production data in the first release more precise.
UK GDP Forecast
The Central Bank expects the economy to expand 1.4% in 2018 and 1.8% in 2019. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to expand 1.3% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 1.4% in 2019.
Author: Edward Gardner, Economist