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UK economic growth slows

slow down road sign

Economic growth within the UK slowed in Q3 2021, according to multiple reports.

Casting blame on the current supply-chain bottlenecks and weaker consumer spending as the country emerged out of lockdown, the Office for National Statistics said the economy expanded 1.3% between Q2 and Q3, down from 5.5% between April and June.

MarketWatch reported that some economists had expected the UK economy to grow by 1.5% in that time.

However, there was some good news in the figures. The Irish broadcaster RTE reported that the UK economy grew by 0.6% in September, higher than the 0.4% that some economists had opted for.

In a statement, the ONS said, “There was particularly strong growth in human health activities which grew by 6.4%, mainly because of a large rise in face-to-face appointments at GP surgeries in England, following falls in July and August 2021. Professional, scientific, and technical activities was the second largest contributor to services growth, growing by 2.1% in September 2021. This reflects strength in legal activities (growing by 3.1%), with some businesses citing a rush to complete work before further changes to the stamp duty holiday.”

Services, it added, were the main contributor GDP growth in September.

Meanwhile, the ONS reported, “Production output decreased by 0.4% in September 2021, because of a 4.1% fall in the distribution of gas. This was the fourth consecutive monthly fall in the distribution of gas following exceptionally high output levels in May 2021 when adverse weather conditions boosted supply.”

It added: “Construction output increased by 1.3% in September 2021 following two consecutive months of contraction, and the sector is now 1.0% below its pre-pandemic level. Growth in construction was driven by growth in repair and maintenance (1.2%) and new work (1.3%).”

There was some comment on the causes of the UK’s current economic situation. Speaking for Deloitte, senior economist Debapratim De told the Associated Press that, “[…] weakness in consumer-facing services, despite minimal social distancing restrictions over the summer, and a contraction in industrial production, highlight that parts of the economy continued to be blighted by the paucity of labour and raw materials.”

Pete Carvill

Pete Carvill is a reporter, writer, and editor based in Berlin who has been writing for the B2B and mainstream media since 2007. He is a contributing writer for Expert Investor and, in addition, has...

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