GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2022

First quarterly estimate of gross domestic product (GDP). Contains current and constant price data on the value of goods and services to indicate the economic performance of the UK.

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Release date:
12 August 2022

Next release:
30 September 2022

1. Main Points

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have fallen by 0.1% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2022, based on the first estimate.

  • In output terms, services fell by 0.4% in Quarter 2 2022 with the largest negative contribution from human health and social work activities, reflecting a reduction in coronavirus (COVID-19) activities.

  • There were positive contributions from consumer-facing services, such as other service activities (travel agencies and tour operators did particularly well as COVID-19 restrictions eased on the tourism industry), accommodation and food service activities , and arts, entertainment and recreation activities.

  • There was a 0.2% decrease in real household consumption in Quarter 2 2022, offset by a positive contribution from net trade; however, we continue to advise caution because of recent changes in data collection affecting the EU trade flows.

  • Monthly estimates published today (12 August 2022) show that GDP fell by 0.6% in June 2022, following a downwardly revised 0.4% increase in May; the Platinum Jubilee and the move of the May bank holiday led to an additional working day in May 2022 and two fewer working days in June 2022, although this impacted on monthly GDP, there was little impact on the quarterly estimates.

  • Compared with the same quarter a year ago, the implied GDP deflator rose by 6.0%, primarily reflecting the 7.3% increase in the price of household consumption expenditure, which is the fastest annual household deflator growth rate since 1991.


For Quarter 2 2022, GDP estimates are subject to more uncertainty than usual as a result of the challenges we faced estimating GDP in the current conditions.

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2. Headline GDP figures

The first quarterly estimate of UK gross domestic product (GDP) shows an estimated fall of 0.1% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2022 (Figure 1). The level of quarterly GDP in Quarter 2 2022 is now 0.6% above its pre-coronavirus level (Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019), and 2.9% higher than Quarter 2 2021. Early estimates of GDP are subject to revision. For more information see our previous analysis, Communicating gross domestic product.

As published today (12 August 2022) in our Monthly GDP estimates bulletin GDP is estimated to have fallen by 0.6% in June 2022, following an increase of 0.4% in May 2022. It is important to note that the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and the move of the May bank holiday led to an additional working day in May 2022 and two fewer working days in June 2022. Therefore, this should be considered when interpreting the seasonally adjusted movements involving May and June 2022. For more information on our treatment of the Jubilee within the monthly figures, please refer to the Monthly GDP bulletin.

Nominal GDP increased by 1.1% in Quarter 2 2022 and is 9.1% higher than the same quarter a year ago. It is now 10.5% above its pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.

The implied GDP deflator rose by 1.1% in Quarter 2 2022, mainly driven by a 2.7% increase in the implied price of household consumption. Compared with the same quarter a year ago, the implied GDP deflator rose by 6.0%, primarily reflecting the 7.3% increase in the price of household consumption expenditure, which is the fastest annual household rate since 1991.

The implied GDP deflator represents the broadest measure of inflation in the domestic economy, reflecting changes in the price of all goods and services that comprise GDP. It is important to note that the GDP deflator covers the whole of the economy, not just consumer spending. This includes the “implied” price of government consumption, which is the expenditure that is incurred by government in producing non-market goods and services.

Compared with the same quarter a year ago, there was a 6.0% increase in the implied price of government consumption. However, as there is no market price for this expenditure, we recommend caution in interpreting the movements in this implied price, particularly over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. For further details refer to our blog, Public services: measuring the part they play in the economy through the pandemic.

Figure 2 shows the latest GDP performance for a selection of developed economies. The United States economy experienced a contraction of 0.2% in the second quarter, although most of the other selected G7 economies have seen positive real GDP growth in Quarter 2 2022.

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3. Output

In Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2022, there was a 0.4% fall in services output, while production and construction output increased.


Services output fell by 0.4% in Quarter 2 2022 and is now 1.1% above pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels. The largest negative contributions to services output resulted from human health and social work activities, and wholesale and retail trade (Figure 3). There was partially offsetting positive contributions from accommodation and food service activities, and other service activities.

There was a 5.4% fall in human health and social work activities, reflecting a large reduction in coronavirus activities, such as NHS Test and Trace, COVID-19 vaccination programme and lateral flow orders over the second quarter. There is further detail in our bulletin, GDP monthly estimate, UK: May 2022.

There was a 1.0% fall in wholesale and retail trade. The Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) highlighted that around 32% of businesses within the wholesale and retail trade industry reported global supply chain disruptions at the end of the second quarter of 2022. In addition, retail sales volumes fell across the quarter, as shown in our bulletin, Retail sales, Great Britain: June 2022.

Despite an increase of 1.6% in Quarter 2 2022 in the wholesale and retail of cars, this industry remains 1.9% below pre-coronavirus pandemic levels. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) noted that the ongoing shortages in component supply and restrictions in China have hampered the global vehicle production ability to fulfil demand in the second quarter of 2022.

The fall in services output was partially offset by increases in output from accommodation and food services (4.7%), driven by increases in accommodation and in food and beverage service activities reflecting rises in mobile food stands and takeaway food shops. This coincides with the Queen’s Jubilee bank holidays, as further shown in our June GDP bulletin. There were also increases in other service activities (7.4%), and arts, entertainment and recreation (3.3%), which had previously been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Administrative and support service activities rose by 1.2% in Quarter 2 2022 driven by an increase in travel agencies, tour operators and other related activities, benefitting from the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on the tourism industry.


Production output rose by 0.5% in Quarter 2 2022, a slowdown compared with the previous quarter when it increased by 1.3%, while the level of production output remains 1.2% below pre-pandemic levels. The quarterly rise in production output was driven by a rise in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (2.7%), resulting from growth in the manufacture of gas; and electric power generation, transmission and distribution.

There were increases in water supply activities (2.9%), because of positive contributions from remediation activities and other waste management services; waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; and sewerage activities.

There was a 0.3% fall in mining and quarrying output in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2022, following a reduction in mining support service activities (Figure 4). Overall growth in manufacturing was broadly flat, however there were falls in 7 of the 13 manufacturing sub-sectors. The largest contributor to the fall in manufacturing was in manufacture of chemicals and chemical products; and manufacture of machinery and equipment. This was nearly all offset by an increase in the manufacture of transport equipment, which has seen four consecutive months of growth. For further information, please refer to our the monthly GDP bulletin.


Construction output rose by 2.3% in Quarter 2 2022, and is now 2.7% above pre-coronavirus pandemic levels. Increases in both new work and repair and maintenance contributed to the quarterly growth. Further detail on construction growth rates can be found in our Construction output in Great Britain: June 2022 bulletin.

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4. Expenditure

Expenditure fell by 0.1% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June ) 2022, following a rise of 0.8% in the previous quarter. The latest quarterly fall in expenditure was driven by decreases in most of the expenditure components, particularly in household and government consumption expenditure (Figure 5).

Private consumption

Real household expenditure fell by 0.2% in Quarter 2 2022, which was driven by falls in net tourism, clothing and footwear, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and restaurants and hotels. This was partially offset by rises in expenditure on transport, housing and health.

In current price terms, household expenditure rose by 2.6% in Quarter 2 2022, reflecting recent inflationary pressures on the value of this spending. The implied price of household expenditure increased by 7.3% when compared with Quarter 2 last year, the highest level since 1991. This is broadly consistent with the rise in the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’' housing costs, which recorded an annual increase of 8.2% in June 2022.

Consumption of government goods and services

Real government consumption expenditure fell for the second consecutive quarter, declining by 2.9% in Quarter 2 2022. This was driven by declines in health consumption, which reflected falls in coronavirus (COVID-19) activities (such as Test and Trace, lateral flow devices and vaccinations). There was an increase in the underlying health activity that was unrelated to COVID-19 activities.

Net trade

Our trade estimates are primarily based on data collected by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A recent HMRC data collection change affected our EU to Great Britain import statistics, and investigations have concluded that there is a discontinuity by value between the compilation methods. We therefore recommend caution in interpreting movements across periods, as outlined in our impact article and our latest UK trade bulletin. For more information, please see Section 8: Measuring the data.

The UK’s trade deficit for goods and services improved to a 4.7% of nominal GDP in Quarter 2 2022 (Figure 6). Excluding non-monetary gold, the trade deficit was 4.5% of nominal GDP in Quarter 2 2022.

There have been large price movements in these trade flows, particularly reflecting oil and commodity price movements. There were particularly strong movements in the price of traded fuels on the quarter, which would be reflected in the current price estimates of exports and imports of goods. In current price terms, total exports rose by 7.4% in Quarter 2 2022, while total imports rose by 4.3% (Figure 7) . The annual increase in the implied price in for total exports was 12.8% and total imports of 14.7% in the latest quarter.

Reflecting these movements in prices, total import volumes fell by 1.5% in Quarter 2 2022. There was a 2.5% fall in real imports of goods, driven by falls in unspecified goods and fuels. The volume of services imports increased by 2.1%, particularly in travel, transport, and insurance and pension services. Total export volumes rose by 2.4% in the latest quarter, where the 5.3% increase in exports of goods was driven by machinery and transport equipment;, material manufacturers;, and chemicals. Services exports fell by 0.6% in Quarter 2 2022, particularly in other business services and transport. This was partially offset by a rise in travel and financial services.

Gross capital formation

Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) rose by 0.6% in Quarter 2 2022 and is now 2.4% above pre-coronavirus pandemic levels. The latest quarterly increase was driven by rises in business investment, whilst government investment fell.

Business investment increased by 3.8% in the latest quarter, following a fall in the previous quarter (Figure 8). Increased investment in other buildings and structures (3.0%); and dwellings (1.2%), was partially offset by falls in investment spending in other machinery and equipment (2.6%); intellectual property rights (1%) and transport equipment (0.9%).

Excluding the alignment adjustment, Inventories rose by £1.9 billion in Quarter 2 2022, following a large increase in the previous quarter. This is driven by positive contributions from wholesale, and mining and quarrying.

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5. Income

Nominal gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.1% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June ) 2022, a slowdown from the previous quarter. The quarterly rise was driven by a rise in taxes less subsidies (8.3%), and compensation of employees (0.7%) (Figure 9). Nominal GDP is now 10.5% above pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels.

Taxes rose in Quarter 2 2022, driven by rises in other taxes, while Value Added Tax (VAT) receipts remained flat reflecting the trends in output and expenditure. Subsidies fell in Quarter 2 2022, driven by falls in housing equity injections, partially offset by increased research and development tax credits.

Compensation of employees rose by 0.7% in Quarter 2 2022, a slowdown from the previous quarter. This reflects weaker growth in wages and salaries (0.1%) and social contributions (3.2%). Elsewhere, there was a fall in other income driven by a fall in mixed income resulting from reductions in self-employment income.

Total gross operating surplus (GOS) declined in the latest quarter driven by falls in public and private non-financial corporations but this was after the alignment adjustment had been applied. Before the alignment adjustment, corporations’ GOS increased by 1.1%. The rise in Financial corporations’ GOS was driven by an increase in the Monetary Financial Corporations sub-sector. This is consistent with recent rises in interest rates by the Bank of England.

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6. GDP quarterly national accounts data

GDP - data tables
Dataset | Released 12 August 2022
Annual and quarterly data for UK gross domestic product (GDP) estimates, in chained volume measures and current market prices.

GDP in chained volume measures - real-time database (ABMI)
Dataset | Released 12 August 2022
Quarterly levels for UK gross domestic product (GDP), in chained volume measures at market prices.

GDP at current prices - real-time database (YBHA)
Dataset | Released 12 August 2022
Quarterly levels for UK gross domestic product (GDP) at current market prices.

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7. Glossary

Contribution to growth

Contribution to growth indicates how many percentage points a sector or industry is adding or removing from a given growth rate, usually headline gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

Chained volume measure

Data in chained volume measures (CVM) within this bulletin have had the effect of price changes removed (in other words, the data are deflated), except for income data, which are only available in current prices.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

A measure of the economic activity produced by a country or region. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth is the main indicator of economic performance. There are three approaches used to measure GDP:

  • the output approach
  • the expenditure approach
  • the income approach

Index numbers

Data relative to a given base value, which typically refers to a particular year or quarter.

For further definitions, please see the Glossary of economic terms.

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8. Measuring the data

In line with the National Accounts Revisions Policy, data for Quarter 2 (April to June) 2022 are published for the first time, with no revision to previous quarters.

In the Quarterly national accounts publication on 30 September 2022 data will be revised throughout the time series in line with Blue Book 2022. On 27 June 2022 we published Blue Book 2022 indicative impacts of this change to annual GDP from 1997 to 2019. We plan to publish further impacts of these changes on 2020 and at the industry level on 22 August 2022.

Reaching the gross domestic product (GDP) balance

The different data content and quality of the three approaches -- the output approach, the expenditure approach and the income approach -- dictates the approach taken in balancing quarterly data. In the UK, there are more data available on output in the short-term than in either of the other two approaches. However, to obtain the best estimate of GDP (the published figure), the estimates from all three approaches are balanced to produce an average, except in the latest two quarters where the output data takes the lead because of the larger data content.

Quarterly GDP is a balanced measure of the three approaches while the output approach focuses solely on growth in gross value added (GVA) and output as a proxy for GDP. Because of this there is a difference in 2020 and 2021 data (in both levels and growths terms) between the quarterly publications (average GDP) and the GDP monthly estimate (output approach to GDP). Quarterly GDP is the lead measure of GDP because of its higher data content and inclusion of variables, which enable the conversion from a GVA concept to a GDP basis.

Information on the methods we use for Balancing the output, income and expenditure approaches to measuring GDP is available.

Alignment adjustments, found in Table M of the GDP first quarterly estimate data tables, have a target limit of plus or minus £3,000 million on any quarter. However, in periods where the data sources are particularly difficult to balance, larger alignment adjustments are sometimes needed as explained in our recent article, Recent challenges of balancing the three approaches of GDP.

In this release, we have faced some additional uncertainty in renconciling the expenditure approach to GDP in particular on these EU trade flows because of recent changes in how some of these data are collated. For these reasons, rather than forcing a GDP balance for expenditure by heavily adjusting the expenditure components, we have decided to show the best estimate of each underlying component at this stage.

In doing so, this means that the alignment adjustment, used to align expenditure to average GDP, is larger than normal (Table 2). This approach preserves the component level movements and shows the level of challenge and uncertainty currently within the expenditure approach to GDP. Work will continue before the next GDP quarterly national accounts release with a focus on the expenditure approach to GDP and we will continue to review this as and when more information becomes available.

To achieve a balanced GDP dataset through alignment, balancing adjustments are applied to the components of GDP where data content is particularly weak in a given quarter because of a higher level of forecast content. The balancing adjustments applied in this estimate are shown in Table 4. The resulting series should be considered accordingly.

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9. Strengths and Limitations

The UK National Accounts are drawn together using data from many different sources. This ensures that they are comprehensive and provide different perspectives on the economy, for example, sales by retailers and purchases by households. Further information on measuring gross domestic product (GDP) can be found in our Guide to the UK National Accounts and more quality and methodology information is available in our Gross domestic product (GDP) QMI.

Important quality information

There are common pitfalls in interpreting data series, and these include*:

  • expectations of accuracy and reliability in early estimates are often too high

  • revisions are an inevitable consequence of the trade-off between timeliness and accuracy

  • early estimates are based on incomplete data

Very few statistical revisions arise as a result of "errors" in the popular sense of the word. All estimates, by definition, are subject to statistical "error".

Many different approaches can be used to summarise revisions; the "Accuracy and reliability" section in the Gross domestic product (GDP) Quality and Methodology Information analyses the mean average revision and the mean absolute revision for GDP estimates over data publication iterations. 

GDP estimates for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022 are subject to more uncertainty than usual as a result of the challenges we faced estimating GDP in the current conditions. Differences in the methods for estimating the output of health and education services across different countries mean GDP may be less internationally comparable during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recovery than usual, so should be made with increased caution. For more information, please refer to our blog, Why has UK GDP fallen so sharply in the pandemic?

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Rachel Meyrick
Telephone: +44 1633 455284