Commenting on today’s GDP figures for the 3 months to October, an ONS Spokesperson said:
“The UK economy saw no growth in the latest three months. There were increases across the services sector, offset by falls in manufacturing with factories continuing the weak performance seen since April.
Construction also declined across the last three months with a notable drop in house building and infrastructure in October.”Back to table of contents
|Three-month growth (%)||Contribution to growth (percentage points)|
|Index of Services||0.2||0.17|
|Index of Production||-0.7||-0.1|
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The services sector was the only positive contributor to gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the three months to October 2019, growing by 0.2%. Output in both the production and construction sectors contracted, by 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively. The weakness seen in construction was predominantly driven by a fall of 2.3% in October.Back to table of contents
Rolling three-month growth was flat in October 2019, following growth of 0.3% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019. Growth has been volatile over the last year, in part as a result of changes to the timing of activity in anticipation of the UK’s original planned departure from the EU at the end of March 2019.
Rolling three-month growth is based on output gross value added (GVA) and so there will be discrepancies in the time series with our quarterly estimates of gross domestic product (GDP), which include information on the expenditure and income approaches to measuring GDP.Back to table of contents
|August 2019||September 2019||October 2019|
|Index of Services||-0.1||0||0.2|
|Index of Production||-0.7||-0.3||0.1|
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Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 0.0% in October 2019, with growth in services and production offset by a notable fall in construction, which had its lowest level of output since January 2018.
The monthly growth rate for GDP is volatile and so it should be used with caution and alongside other measures, such as the three-month growth rate, when looking for an indicator of the longer-term trend of the economy. However, it is useful in highlighting one-off changes that can be masked by three-month growth rates.Back to table of contents
Growth in the services sector slowed in the three months to October 2019 to 0.2%, following growth of 0.4% in the three months to September 2019. This growth was driven by strength in professional, scientific and technical activities, wholesale trade and health, and was partially offset by weakness in office administrative and support activities.
Services also grew by 0.2% in October, with widespread growth in several industries. The most notable of these were real estate activities and professional, scientific and technical activities, which both contributed 0.06 percentage points to gross domestic product (GDP) growth. The latter was driven by strength in both architectural and engineering activities, and research and development.
Professional, scientific and technical activity has picked up in recent months following falls in the early part of 2019. However, this industry has outperformed services as a whole over the last two years, as shown in Figure 3.Back to table of contents
The production sector fell by 0.7% in the three months to October 2019, with widespread falls across several manufacturing industries. Figure 4 shows there has been a longer-term weakening in both production and manufacturing.
Production grew by 0.1% in October, driven by energy production, which grew by 2.4% as a result of below-average temperatures. Manufacturing also grew by 0.2% on the month, with the largest positive contributions coming from pharmaceuticals and food production. These industries were also the main contributors to growth in March 2019 ahead of the UK’s original planned date to exit the European Union, as shown in Figure 5.
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Rolling three-month growth in construction was negative 0.3% in the three months to October 2019. This fall was driven by private housing repair and maintenance, and private new housing, which fell by 3.6% and 1.0%, respectively.
The month-on-month growth in October was negative 2.3%. This decrease was driven by private new housing and infrastructure, which fell by 4.7% and 6.3%, respectively. The fall in infrastructure is as a result of several large businesses changing the timing of some of their regular activity from July to October.Back to table of contents
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