GDP, UK regions and countries: January to March 2022

Quarterly economic activity within the countries of the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and the nine English regions.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

Contact:
Email Jon Gough

Release date:
17 November 2022

Next release:
February 2023

1. Other pages in this release

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2. Main points

  • In Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland all showed positive quarter-on-quarter growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.9%, 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively, while growth in Wales was flat at 0.0%.

  • All of the nine English regions showed positive growth between Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021 and Quarter 1 2022. The regions with the largest growth were the North East and the East Midlands, both with an increase of 1.2%, followed by London with an increase of 1.1%.

  • In Quarter 1 2022, compared with the same quarter a year ago, Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland all showed positive growth in GDP of 12.8%, 11.1%, 11.0% and 7.7%, respectively.

  • London showed the largest annual increase in growth in GDP in Quarter 1 2022 when compared with the same quarter a year earlier, at 14.4%; this was followed by Scotland, the North East and the South West, with growth of 12.8%, 12.4% and 11.3%, respectively.

  • Estimates produced are in line with the most recent publication of Blue Book 2022 consistent Quarterly National Accounts, published on 30 September 2022; therefore this release includes revisions to the data released previously which can be compared against the new estimates using the revisions triangles dataset.

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These estimates are designated as experimental statistics while they are still in development, and should be interpreted with some caution. Regional data can be volatile and quarterly movements should be considered alongside the long-term trend. To assist with this, quarter on same quarter a year earlier data are published alongside the latest quarter on quarter estimates.

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3. Analysis of regional gross domestic product (GDP) growth

UK gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 0.7% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022. This followed higher growth of 1.6% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021.

England, Scotland and Northern Ireland had positive quarter-on-quarter growth in Quarter 1 2022, of 0.8%, 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively. Growth in Wales was flat at 0.0%. More information about the drivers for the changes in Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found in the data tables published by the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

All nine English regions showed positive growth in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022. The regions with the largest percentage growth were the North East with 1.2%, the East Midlands with 1.2% and London with 1.1%. This follows eight of the English regions showing positive growth in the previous quarter, the exception being Yorkshire and The Humber with a previous fall in growth of 0.6%.

Five regions and countries of the UK had growth in Quarter 1 2022 above the UK level when compared with the same quarter in 2021. These were London at 14.4%, Scotland at 12.8%, the North East at 12.4%, the South West at 11.3%, and Wales at 11.1%. All other regions grew below the UK growth of 10.8%. The furthest below the UK level was the East Midlands with 7.5%.

All regions and countries of the UK had larger annual growth in Quarter 1 2022 when compared with annual growth between Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021 and the same quarter a year earlier. It should be noted, however, that the estimates here are likely to still be reflecting effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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4. GDP growth by key industrial sector for the English regions and Wales

The interactive charts in this section allow readers to explore gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates by industry and sector, within individual regions. Data for Scotland and Northern Ireland are not shown here as they are published by the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

Figure 4: Interactive maps by main industrial sector for the English regions and Wales

Seasonally adjusted quarter on quarter GDP growth for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022

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Figure 5: Interactive chart by area for the English regions and Wales

Seasonally adjusted quarter on quarter GDP growth for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022

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Figure 6: Time series charts by main sections for the English regions and Wales

Seasonally adjusted quarter on quarter GDP growth, Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020 to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022

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More detail about the growth in GDP in each region can be found in our regional GDP dataset.

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These estimates are calculated based on site-level (local unit) activity. Industry movements may differ to those at the national level, which are based on overall (reporting unit) business activity.

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5. GDP, UK regions and countries data

Quarterly country and regional GDP
Dataset | Released 17 November 2022
Quarterly economic activity within Wales and the nine English regions (North East, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East, and South West).

Regional GDP Data Sources Catalogue
Dataset | Released 17 November 2022
A breakdown of all the data sources that feed into the measure of Quarterly country and regional GDP.

Revisions triangles for quarterly country and regional GDP
Dataset | Released 17 November 2022
Comparison of quarterly country and regional GDP estimates from our last published timeseries against estimates published in this release.

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6. Glossary

GDP

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the value of goods and services produced in the UK. It estimates the size of and growth in the economy.

Production

Production is the process of combining various materials or other inputs in order to generate a product for consumption. It includes output in the manufacturing (the largest component of production), mining and quarrying, energy supply, and water supply and waste management industries.

Services

Services are activities that people, or businesses provide for a consumer or other businesses. The main components of the service industries are: wholesale and retail; hotels and restaurants; transport, storage and communication; business services and finance; and government and other services.

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7. Measuring the data

The data for these estimates is turnover data from approximately 1.9 million VAT returns. Information from the Inter-departmental business register (IDBR) on workplace employment allows us to apportion the VAT turnover for each business based on their employment share within a region. The quality assurance of administrative data (QAAD) report for VAT data is available.

Other volume measure data are used where appropriate, or where VAT data has insufficient coverage. A full list of other data sources is included in the data source catalogue.

The previous publication of quarterly country and regional GDP (published on 1 September 2022) included a time series of growth rates and indices, from 2012 to 2020, consistent with the regional accounts estimates published in May 2022. From 2021 onwards, UK growth was consistent with quarterly national accounts at that time. These estimates were the first release of data produced using new methods of constraining to UK GDP.

This release incorporates revisions to previous estimates published on 1 September 2022 as the underlying current prices data and the year of 2020 are now aligned with the new GDP quarterly national accounts published on 30th September 2022. Estimates are no longer aligned in 2020 with Annual regional accounts as the year 2020 was provisional when published on 30 May 2022. This is the first release of the data produced with the new methods of constraining to UK GDP to incorporate GDP estimates by industry as well as region so will include revisions resulting from the new methods and the aligning to UK GDP.

As part of our ongoing commitment to continuously improve the accuracy and reliability of our statistics, our previous publication detailed the new method for constraining to national totals used in the estimation of quarterly country and regional GDP. As data used in this publication will now always align to the most recent estimates of both quarterly national GDP and annual regional GDP, future releases will incorporate revisions accordingly.

While our statistics are still in development, estimates for Scotland are taken from the most recent release of GDP in Scotland, published by the Scottish Government, and estimates for Northern Ireland are taken from the most recent release of GDP in Northern Ireland, published by Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

In this release, revisions back to 2012 reflect statistical improvements and ongoing changes to methods used as we develop these Experimental Statistics. We aim to continue to improve our regional GDP estimates and gain National Statistics status in due course.

Data are presented in this release for Quarter 1 (Jan to March) 2012 onwards.

We welcome feedback and comments on this publication, including on presentation and further development of other data sources at regionalgdp@ons.gov.uk.

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8. Strengths and limitations

These data are designated as experimental statistics. These are statistics that are in the testing phase. We will continue to develop these statistics and seek users’ views on their uses and needs for these data.

While the data sources and methods used in both our regional and national estimates of GDP are broadly similar, there are some clear differences. For example, in the extent to which VAT data is used in the compilation of these estimates.

These estimates aim to produce the best estimates at a subnational level. However, the sum of the UK regions may not equal the national total and there may be some discrepancies at industry level, reflecting that there are some differences in data sources and methods. We have constrained our regional GDP estimates in such a way that minimises the changes to the region by industry quarterly growth rates using automated statistical methods. While the overall impact of this constraining on the regional estimates is small, we will continue to examine the impact of this method and consider options to determine which one is best suited to these data in advance of applying to be assessed as National Statistics.

With the updated data sources, and real-world impacts on the data, we have conducted a review of our seasonal adjustment methods. We will continue to review and monitor the outputs as more information becomes available.

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10. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 17 November 2022, ONS website, statistical bulletin, GDP, UK regions and countries: January to March 2022

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Jon Gough
regionalgdp@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 1633 456720