The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced on March 10 that the British gross domestic product (GDP) for January had grown by 0.3%, exceeding expectations. This positive news comes after economists had predicted that Britain’s risk of recession was inevitable.
The January GDP figure is in stark contrast to December 2022, which saw a 0.5% contraction. Prior to the release of the figures, economists had expected monthly GDP to increase by only 0.1% in January, with GDP remaining flat. The ONS data covers the three months up until January.
According to the ONS, “The services sector grew 0.5% in January 2023 after a 0.8% decline in December 2022, which contributed to the January growth. This includes the education sector, transportation and storage, health activities, and arts, entertainment and recreational activities, which all rebounded after falling in December 2022.”
However, the manufacturing sector saw a 0.3% decline in output in January, following a 0.3% increase in December. Meanwhile, construction fell 1.7% in January after remaining flat the previous month.
The unexpected recovery in January is seen as a positive sign for the British economy, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. However, concerns remain over the impact of Brexit and the potential for further disruption to supply chains and trade.