GDP monthly estimate, UK: June 2021

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.

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Cyswllt:
Email Niamh McAuley

Dyddiad y datganiad:
12 August 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
10 September 2021

1. Main points

  • Gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown for a fifth consecutive month in June 2021, by 1.0%, but remains 2.2% below its pre-pandemic level (February 2020).
  • Services continued to be the main contributor to GDP’s recovery in June 2021, growing by 1.5% in June 2021 following a revised 0.7% growth in May 2021.
  • Health activities contributed the most to services output as visits to GPs increased in June 2021, while hospitality benefitted from its first full month of indoor dining since coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions were eased on 17 May.
  • Food and beverage services activities was again the main contributor to the growth in consumer-facing services, growing by 10.1% in June 2021.
  • Production output fell by 0.7% in June 2021, as planned temporary closures for maintenance of oil field production sites once again hit output.
  • Construction contracted for a third consecutive month, with output down by 1.3% in June 2021 and now 0.3% below its pre-pandemic level (February 2020).

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GDP estimates for June 2021 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. Monthly GDP

Monthly real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 1.0% in June 2021 as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions continued to ease to varying degrees in England, Scotland and Wales. This is the fifth consecutive month of growth, and greater than the previous month’s growth of 0.6% in May 2021.

Table 1 shows growth in services but falls in production and construction in June 2021. Construction contracted for a third consecutive month following exceptionally strong growth in February and March 2021.

Overall, GDP grew by 4.8% in the three months to June 2021, largely because of the performance of the service sector. Retail sales grew strongly in the latest three months, pupil attendance increased as schools reopened from March 2021, and food and beverage service activities also reopened. More details on quarterly growth components can be found in GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2021.

The latest comparisons of month on same month a year ago should be treated with caution given the impact of base effects on growth rates because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020. Such comparisons and growth rates can nonetheless be found in our accompanying dataset.

Revisions

April to May 2021 were open for revisions, in line with our National Accounts Revisions policy. Revisions to headline GDP were relatively small as Table 2 shows, with revisions to services contributing the most overall, and because of new quarterly information as part of the GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2021.

More about economy, business and jobs

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3. The services sector

Services output grew by 1.5% in June 2021 but remained 2.1% below its pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level of February 2020.

Health contributed strongly in June 2021 as visits to GPs increased compared with recent months. NHS Test and Trace services and vaccine schemes across the UK also continued to contribute positively to overall output levels in health, despite a slight fall taking away 0.1 percentage points from GDP growth in June 2021 (Table 3).

Taking into account NHS Test and Trace services and vaccine programmes

Coverage adjustments have been applied to the volume data to estimate the impact on real gross domestic product (GDP) from the NHS Test and Trace services and vaccine programmes. These adjustments are applied to both the government expenditure data and output data, and are applied only to volume data because of the way the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates the output of health services.

Table 3 sets out the volume expenditure adjustments for January 2021 to June 2021 split between NHS Test and Trace services and the vaccine programmes. April’s Test and Trace adjustment has been revised down from £2,100 million to £1,600 million, May’s adjustment has also been revised down from £1,900 million to £1,450 million, while the adjustment for June is £1,550 million.

This monthly profile reflects an overall fall in the estimated value for testing activity despite an overall increase in the number of tests carried out in Quarter 2 (Apr to June 2021), as reflected in the coronavirus daily testing data. The reduction to the vaccine programmes adjustment reflects a fall of approximately 20% in the number of vaccine doses used in June compared with May 2021. More detail on our methodological approach can be found in the GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2021.

Professional, scientific and technical activities grew by 4.5% in June 2021 and was the second largest contributor to growth in services, as Figure 3 shows. Seven of its eight sub-industries grew in June 2021, with advertising and market research growing strongly at 14.7%.

Consumer-facing services grew by 1.0% as coronavirus restrictions continued to ease throughout June 2021, although output levels remained 6.4% below their pre-pandemic level (February 2020), as Figure 4 shows. Despite growth in consumer-facing services, it is travel, transport and other personal services that continue to be the main contributors to output remaining below pre-pandemic levels.

Food and beverage services activities was again the main contributor to the growth in consumer-facing services, growing by 10.1% in June 2021, benefitting from the first full month of indoor dining for restaurants, cafés and pubs since restrictions were eased on 17 May 2021. Continued strong growth means that the industry is now only 1.5% below its pre-pandemic level (February 2020), and 9.0% above its August 2020 peak when the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme boosted consumer demand for bars and restaurants.

For information looking at the three months to June 2021 trends, see GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2021.

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4. The production sector

Production output fell by 0.7% in June 2021, with mixed growth across the four sectors (Figure 5). This follows a revised fall in April 2021 (from a 1.0% fall to a 0.9% fall), and a revised May 2021 (from 0.8% growth to 0.6%). April’s revision was driven by revisions across the manufacturing sector while May’s was driven by updated electricity data. More detailed breakdowns on production are available in the Index of Production, UK: June 2021.

Mining and quarrying contributed most to production’s fall of 0.7%, as it fell by 11.9% in June 2021. Planned temporary closures for maintenance of oil field production sites were once again an important factor to this fall. Output in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas in June 2021 is at its lowest level since monthly records began in 1997.

The manufacturing sector remained broadly flat, growing by 0.2% in June 2021, the fifth consecutive month of growth. This release sees upwardly revised growth estimates to April and May 2021 (an upward revision of 0.2 percentage points in both months to 0.2% and 0.1% growth, respectively), with small revisions coming from various sub-sectors.

Production in 8 out of the 13 manufacturing sub-sectors increased in June 2021. The largest contribution to the increase came from the manufacture of transport equipment, which grew by 7.4% following a weak May 2021 when microchip shortages disrupted car production.

Stronger transport equipment manufacture was partially offset by a 12.4% fall in the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations; this follows a large rise of 24.7% in May 2021 and is an industry that often sees volatile output.

For information looking at the three months to June 2021 trends, see GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2021.

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5. The construction sector

Construction output fell for a third consecutive month in June 2021, by 1.3%. This follows upward revisions to both April (negative 0.7% to negative 0.2%) and May (negative 0.8% to negative 0.7%).

As Figure 6 shows, construction output recently peaked to 1.8% above its pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level (February 2020) in March 2021 but is now 0.3% below that February 2020 level.

The fall in construction output in June 2021 was driven by a 4.2% fall in repair and maintenance, as output across all repair and maintenance sub-industries contracted. This fall was partly offset by growth in new work (0.5%), particularly as infrastructure (6.3%) continued to perform well, as did private industrial new work (6.8%). Further detail on the contributions to construction growth can be found in Construction output in Great Britain: June 2021, new orders and construction output prices, April to June 2021.

For information looking at the three months to June 2021 trends, see GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2021.

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6. Monthly GDP data

Monthly gross domestic product by gross value added
Dataset | Released 12 August 2021
The gross value added (GVA) tables showing the monthly and annual growths and indices as published within the monthly gross domestic product (GDP) statistical bulletin.

Contributions to monthly GDP
Dataset | Released 12 August 2021
Contributions to growth within monthly gross domestic product (GDP), UK.

Monthly gross domestic product: time series
Dataset | Dataset ID: MGDP | Released 12 August 2021
Monthly estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) containing constant price gross value added (GVA) data for the UK.

Monthly GDP and main sectors to four decimal places
Dataset | Released 12 August 2021
Monthly index values for monthly gross domestic product (GDP) and the main sectors in the UK to four decimal places.

Revisions triangles for monthly GDP
Dataset | Released 12 August 2021
Comparison of gross domestic product (GDP) first estimates against estimates published later.

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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 GDP growth.

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 year.

Rolling three-month growth

Rolling three-month growth takes the average level of three consecutive months (for example, April, May, and June), and compares it with the average level of the previous three months (for example, January, February, and March). The rolling three-month growth rate is often used alongside the monthly growth rate, as the latter can be more volatile.

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

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8. Measuring the data

This release captures the direct effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the government measures taken to reduce transmission of the virus. We have faced an increased number of challenges in producing estimates of UK gross domestic product (GDP) and because of these challenges, GDP estimates for June 2021 are subject to more uncertainty than usual.

Early in the pandemic, we faced some challenges in receiving timely responses to the Monthly Business Survey (MBS) as businesses adapted to new conditions. In recent months, response rates have improved and further information on measuring the data across our main data sources is available in the following releases:

In Blue Book 2021, a new framework will be introduced to improve how we produce volume estimates of GDP for balanced years as part of the supply use process. This framework includes the implementation of double-deflated industry-level gross value added for the first time. This improvement will be reflected in the September quarterly national accounts and October monthly GDP estimates.

On 28 June we published Blue Book 2021 indicative impacts of this change to annual GDP from 1997 to 2019. We also published further impacts on 28 June on the effect of this change to quarterly GDP from 1997 to 2019. We plan to publish further impacts of these changes at the quarterly industry level on 8 September 2021.

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9. Strengths and limitations

This release gives data for June 2021 for the first time and incorporates revisions to monthly data from April 2021 to May 2021.

Quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Gross domestic product (GDP) QMI.

The monthly growth rate for GDP is volatile. It should therefore be used with caution and alongside other measures, such as the three-month growth rate, when looking for an indicator of the medium-term trend of the economy. However, it is useful in highlighting one-off changes that can be masked by three-month growth rates.

Communicating gross domestic product

Recent analysis explains our latest position on how we are looking to communicate GDP, including how we will continue to acknowledge that “technical” recessions are comprised of at least two consecutive quarters of contracting GDP.

While it is still true that these early estimates are prone to revision, we prefer to focus on the magnitude of the contraction that has taken place following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is clear that the contraction in GDP in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 was the largest recession on record. Our latest estimates show that the UK economy is now 2.2% smaller than it was in February 2020, the effects of which have been most pronounced in those industries that are most exposed to public health restrictions and the effects of social distancing.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Niamh McAuley
gdp@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 455284