GDP took five years to recover...

Percentage change in gross value added (GVA) since Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2008


The UK is predominantly a service-based economy, with these industries – including retailers, wholesalers, car sales, food and drink, tourism and professional services – making up 79% of the UK economy.

The services sector suffered the least from the recession and recovered the quickest. It shrank by 4% during the downturn, and had got back to its pre-recession level by the beginning of 2012, more than a year earlier than the UK economy as a whole.

Not all parts of the economy have returned to their pre-downturn level. Production makes up about 14% of the economy and includes manufacturing, as well as the oil, gas and electricity sector. This part of the economy was affected by the falling price of oil, which meant that there was less incentive to extract oil and gas. The most recent data show that manufacturing is 0.8 percentage points away from its pre-downturn peak.

Construction, which makes up about 6% of the UK economy, has had a turbulent decade. Throughout 2010 and 2011, preparations for the London Olympics gave the sector a significant boost, but it was the end of 2015 before the sector recovered fully. Rapid growth throughout 2016 was followed by a levelling-off through 2017.