UK economy shrinks by 0.3 percent, ONS figures show

Experts had been expecting economic growth to flatline in August

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Britain’s economy fell by 0.3 percent between July and August, down from downwardly revised growth of 0.1 percent the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Experts had been expecting economic growth to flatline in August.

The latest data means the economy is on track to contract overall in the third quarter, with the ONS confirming there would need to be growth of more than 1 percent in September to prevent a quarterly decline.

The ONS said there has been a continued slowing in three-month on three-month growth, with gross domestic product (GDP) falling by 0.3 percent in the quarter to August.

UK high street
UK high street
Kwasi Kwarteng
Kwasi Kwarteng

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Countries around the world are facing challenges right now, particularly as a result of high energy prices driven by Putin’s barbaric action in Ukraine.

“That is why this Government acted quickly to put in place a comprehensive plan to protect families and businesses from soaring energy bills this winter.

“Our growth plan will address the challenges that we face with ambitious supply-side reforms and tax cuts, which will grow our economy, create more well-paid skilled jobs and, in turn, raise living standards for everyone.”

Grant Fitzner, chief economist of the ONS, said: “The economy shrank in August with both production and services falling back, and with a small downward revision to July’s growth the economy contracted in the last three months as a whole.

“Oil and gas production fell as more scheduled North Sea summer maintenance took place than usual.

“Notable decreases were also seen across much of manufacturing.

“Health also contributed to the decline, with a drop in the number of hospital consultations and operations.”

He added: “Sports events too had a slower month after a strong July and many other consumer-facing services struggled with retail, hairdressers and hotels all faring relatively poorly.

“On the positive side, these falls were partially offset by stronger than usual summer performance from many professional services such as lawyers, accountants and architects."