Gross Domestic Product

Last updated: February 2021

GDP HeadlinesGDP fell by 2.6% in November 2020 as government restrictions reduced economic activity

Following six consecutive monthly increases, including an upwardly revised 0.6% increase in October, real gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 2.6% in November 2020. Restrictions were in place to varying degrees across all four nations of the UK during November.

November GDP fell back to 8.5% below the levels seen in February 2020 compared with 6.1% below in October 2020. GDP fell by 8.9% in the 12 months to November 2020, compared with an annual decline of 6.8% to October.

The services sector acted as the main drag on growth in November, falling by 3.4% as restrictions on activity were reintroduced in some parts of the UK in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The services sector is now 9.9% below the level of February 2020.

The production sector also fell marginally by 0.1% in November 2020, remaining 4.7% below the February 2020 level. Elsewhere the construction sector saw positive growth of 1.9% in November 2020, recovering to 0.6% above the February 2020 level.

There were falls in output in all 14 services sub-sectors between October and November 2020. The largest contributor to this fall was accommodation and food service activities, followed by wholesale and retail trade, other service activities and arts, entertainment and recreation, because of the reintroduction of restrictions in some parts of the UK. These four sectors accounted for nearly 80% of the fall in services.

 

GDP

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth is the main indicator of economic performance. There are three approaches used to measure GDP; the output approach, the expenditure approach and the income approach. GDP per head is calculated by dividing GDP in chained volume measures by the population estimates and projections. It is not a measure of productivity or well-being, but is a useful statistic as it removes the impact of the changing size of the population from headline GDP figures.