UK GDP Falls More Than Expected In Q1

The UK economy contracted slightly more than initially estimated in the first quarter as the lockdown restrictions were re-introduced, revised data from the Office for National Statistics revealed on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product dropped 1.6 percent sequentially instead of 1.5 percent fall estimated previously. GDP was up 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The level of GDP was now 8.8 percent below pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2019.
On a yearly basis, the economy contracted by an unrevised 6.1 percent.

In the first quarter, services output fell by a slightly revised 2.1 percent. Production output fell by a slightly revised 0.5 percent, mainly because of a 1.0 percent decline in manufacturing output.

Mining and quarrying continued to fall in the first quarter by a downwardly revised 3.2 percent. Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply grew by a revised 2.5 percent.

Construction output expanded 2.3 percent but was still 3.7 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

The expenditure-side breakdown of GDP showed that household expenditure decreased 4.6 percent and government consumption increased by a revised 1.5 percent.

Gross fixed capital formation dropped 1.7 percent mainly due to a sharp reduction in transport equipment. Business investment fell by 10.7 percent in the first quarter, an upward revision of 1.2 percentage points from the first estimate.

The trade balance improved in the first quarter, recording a deficit of 0.1 percent of nominal GDP.

Another report from ONS showed that the current account deficit narrowed sharply to GBP 12.83 billion from GBP 26.28 billion in the fourth quarter.

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