GDP, UK regions and countries: July to September 2020

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

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Cyswllt:
Email Gemma Rabaiotti

Dyddiad y datganiad:
5 May 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
3 August 2021

1. Other pages in this release

  • Regions of the UK (this page)
  • Methodology used to produce these estimates
  • Link to GDP in Scotland, published by the Scottish Government
  • Link to GDP in Northern Ireland, published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
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2. Main points

  • All countries and regions of the UK experienced double-digit percentage growth in gross domestic product (GDP) between Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 and Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020; despite this growth GDP in all regions remained lower than a year ago.
  • In Quarter 3 2020, all four countries in the UK showed positive quarter-on-quarter growth; England increased by 17.2%, followed by Scotland which grew by 15.8%, Northern Ireland by 15.4% and Wales by 14.4%.
  • Of the nine English regions, the largest positive growth in Quarter 3 2020 was the South West which grew by 19.9%, whilst the smallest growth came from London, at 13.3%.
  • The West Midlands showed the largest annual fall in GDP in Quarter 3 2020 when compared with the same quarter a year earlier, at negative 11.3%; Northern Ireland and the North West showed the smallest annual declines at negative 2.9% and 4.2% respectively.
  • As part of our ongoing commitment to continuously improve the methodologies which underpin our statistics, we have undertaken work to enhance the accuracy of our industry estimates within our published regions; for more information see Section 7: Measuring the data.
  • Estimates for Scotland are taken from the second estimate of Quarter 3 published on 17 February 2021 by the Scottish Government and those for Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) initial estimate of Quarter 3 published 14 January 2021. Note that, processing of data can result in very small rounding differences between estimates.

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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 positive 16.9% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020. This followed negative growth of 18.8% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020, which was a record contraction, because of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

All four countries of the UK had positive quarter-on-quarter growth in Quarter 3 2020. England increased by 17.2%, Scotland increased by 15.8%, Northern Ireland increased by 15.4% and Wales increased by 14.4%.

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 3 (July to Sept) 2020. The South West had an increase of 19.9%, East Midlands with an increase of 19.6%, North West with an increase of 19.3% and Yorkshire and The Humber with an increase of 19.2%, showed the largest percentage growth.

Of the nine English regions, London has seen the smallest rise in growth in Quarter 3 (July to Sep) 2020, 13.3%. In Quarter 2 (Apr to Jun), London saw the smallest fall in growth, 17.2%.

In London, all four main industrial sectors saw a rise in Quarter 3 2020, however the services industry has not fully rebounded in Quarter 3, with only 6 of the 14 sub-industries recovering from their fall in growth in Quarter 2 2020. The transport and storage; arts, entertainment and recreation, and administrative and support service activities show the weakest recovery in growth following their decline in Quarter 2 2020. In London, the financial services industry grew by 3.2% in Quarter 3 2020 following a fall of 8.8% in Quarter 2 2020.

London experienced the largest fall in financial services out of all UK regions in Quarter 2 2020. Table 1 shows the growths across the countries and regions in Quarter 3 2020 compared with the previous growths in Quarter 2 2020 (Apr to June). In the majority of regions, the increases in Quarter 3 2020 were not enough to reverse the falls in Quarter 2 2020.

Six UK regions had growth in Quarter 3 2020 below the UK level when compared with the same quarter in 2019. These were The West Midlands at negative 11.3%, North East at negative 9.5%, Scotland at negative 9.4%, South East at negative 8.3%, East of England at negative 8.2% and London at negative 7.6%.

All other regions experienced a fall in GDP over the year but the decline was less than the UK level of negative 7.5%.

More information regarding the sub-industries contributing to these quarterly changes can be found in the data tables for Wales, the regions of England and the data published by the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

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4. GDP growth by main 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 3 (July to Sept)

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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 3 (July to Sept)

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Figure 6: Interactive time series charts by main sections for the English regions and Wales seasonally adjusted quarter on quarter GDP growth, Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2018 to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020

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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 5 May 2021
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 5 May 2021
A breakdown of all the data sources that feed into the measure of Quarterly country and regional GDP.

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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 main 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 sources catalogue.

A detailed analysis of data was published in the Economic Review on 21 October 2019.

This publication includes a consistent time series of growth rates and indices, back to 2012. These are consistent with the Balanced Regional Accounts estimates published in December 2019 and Blue Book 2019. This applies up to when final estimates for Regional Accounts are available. From this point onwards, growth rates are consistent with Blue Book 2020 Quarterly National Accounts. A Blue Book 2020-consistent time series will be published up to 2019 in the next release of quarterly country and regional GDP following the publication of annual regional accounts estimates on 26 May 2021.

As part of our ongoing commitment to continuously improve the methodologies which underpin our statistics, we have conducted some seasonal adjustment reviews which have led to improvements for:

B – Mining and Quarrying – UKZ – Extra Regio

H – Transport and Storage – UKL – Wales

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, further development of other data sources.

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8. Strengths and limitations

These data are designated as experimental statistics. For further information please view the strengths and limitations section, within our previous release.

Following the announcement by the UK Statistics Authority in March 2019, Construction output price indices, Great Britain construction output statistics and Construction new orders were re-designated as National Statistics. It was noted, however, that the subnational and subsector breakdowns were excluded from consideration because of concerns around the path of the sub-national estimates of construction output. Following a quality assurance review of the input data into this model in part to reflect the impact of the coronavirus, we plan to resume publication of this dataset in the next release of Construction output on 12 May 2021. This release will contain quarterly sub-national and sub-sector data for the first time from Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020 to Quarter 1 2021. The Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2020 quarterly regions and countries publication scheduled in August 2021 will include the new sub-national estimates for construction output.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Gemma Rabaiotti
regionalgdp@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 456417