Close this search box.

UK GDP fails to grow in latest quarter as services from retail to delivery decline

Image: Fotolia

The UK economy failed to grow in the final quarter of 2022 as services – including retail and delivery services – slowed, the latest official figures suggest. However, despite a fall in December, the economy has stayed out of recession.

Real GDP fell by 0.5% in December, the latest ONS monthly estimates suggest, following growth of 0.5% in October and 0.1% in November. 

In the whole of 2022, real GDP grew by an estimated 4%, having grown by 7.6% in 2021, according to the ONS’ GDP first quarterly estimate for the final quarter of 2022. GDP in the fourth quarter remains 0.8% below pre-Covid 19 levels. 

The implied price of GP rose by 1.3%, however, as households paid more for the products they consume (+1.2%). The implied price was 6.6% higher in the fourth quarter than a year earlier.

In the services sector, eight of 14 sub-sectors grew but six fell. While the wider wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles category grew, today’s ONS report shows that within that, retail trade fell. Retailers, said today’s ONS GDP report, were reporting that “consumers are cutting back on spending because of increased prices and affordability concerns.”

The strongest growth was seen by travel agents (+14.8%) but sectors including education (-1.6%) and t transportation and storage output (-2.4%) category declined. “Within the transport and storage sub-sector there were falls from postal and courier activities as well as rail transport, as both industries saw strikes taking place across the fourth quarter,” says the ONS report. “While the direct impact of the strikes in these industries can be seen in the scale of the falls, we are not able to isolate the impact of these strikes from other factors across the wider economy. However, there was anecdotal evidence to suggest this industrial action had an impact across a wide range of industries.”

Elsewhere, there was growth in construction (+0.3%) but a fall in production (-0.2%).

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on