Economic growth slows to 0.2% in Quarter 4 2018


Economic growth slows to 0.2% in Quarter 4 2018, as the annual increase in activity in 2018 is the weakest in six years

UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have slowed to 0.2% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2018, slightly below the latest forecasts produced by the Bank of England  and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research . Following a pickup in activity over the summer months – in part due to warm weather and the World Cup – real GDP growth slowed markedly in the final quarter of 2018, with GDP falling by 0.4% in the month of December. Construction, production and services output fell in the month, the first time that there has been such a broad-based fall in monthly output since September 2012. Previous analysis showed that estimates of monthly GDP can be volatile in nature, with almost one in every four months in the past 21 years showing negative GDP growth, although the more stable rolling three-month figure points to an underlying slowing in the UK economy. More information on the monthly estimates of GDP can be found in the GDP monthly estimate, UK: December 2018 publication.

Compared with the same quarter in the previous year, the UK economy is estimated to have grown by 1.3%. It has not been weaker since Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2012 and continues its relatively subdued performance over the last year.  Today’s estimates also provide the first snapshot of how the economy performed in 2018, showing that UK GDP increased by 1.4%, the weakest it has been since 2009.