UK progress slowed greater than anticipated in February amid a stoop in automobile manufacturing, regardless of a pointy restoration in abroad vacation bookings after the easing of Covid restrictions.
The Office for National Statistics stated gross home product rose by solely 0.1% in February, down from a month-to-month progress charge of 0.8% in January when the economic system was recovering from the coronavirus Omicron variant.
Metropolis economists had forecast a month-to-month progress charge of 0.3%. General, the economic system was 1.5% larger than its pre-pandemic stage in February.
Elevating questions over the power of the economic system earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, manufacturing slumped as automobile producers continued to battle with sourcing elements amid international provide chain disruption and shortages of significant parts.
Exercise within the sector fell 0.4% on the month, pushed by a 5.4% drop within the manufacture of transport tools and a 4.3% fall in pc, digital and optical merchandise the place disruption to the provision of microchips has hit manufacturing volumes around the globe.
Tourism rose sharply after the easing of pandemic restrictions led to a rise in folks reserving holidays within the UK and abroad, with progress of 33.1% for journey businesses and tour operators. Motels recorded a 23% rise in exercise as extra folks travelled throughout the UK, contributing to the primary month of constructive progress for motels and tenting grounds since August.
Nonetheless, progress within the companies sector of the economic system slowed amid a drop within the well being sector, largely reflecting a fall again from excessive ranges within the NHS test-and-trace and vaccination programmes in December and January when Omicron was at its peak.
Some companies stated disruption from the storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin through the month had hindered commerce, together with within the constructing trade, eating places and takeaways, hairdressing and sweetness and leisure parks and vacation centres. Some corporations reported a constructive influence, corresponding to these in fencing, torch gross sales and non permanent off-grid energy.
Enterprise leaders warned the economic system was more likely to battle in future months as hovering inflation damages shopper spending energy.
Suren Thiru, the top of economics on the British Chambers of Commerce, stated the federal government wanted to supply extra monetary assist to corporations and companies to cope with rising price pressures.
“February’s slowdown is more likely to be the beginning of a chronic interval of significantly weaker progress as rising inflation, surging power payments and better taxes more and more damages key drivers of UK output, together with shopper spending and enterprise funding,” he stated.