GDP Grows in April, Despite Fall in Construction – Office for National Statistics

13 June 2021 | General

GDP within the UK grew by 2.3 per cent in April, marking the third consecutive month of increases, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Released on Friday, the numbers showed that GDP had grown at its quickest rate since July last year, which the ONS attributed to the easing of government restrictions.

In this time, construction output fell 2 per cent, following a strong March, although new work was slowing down at a faster rate than repair and maintenance. This, said the ONS, marked the first fall in construction since December 2020.

The ONS released a statement in tandem with the figures. It read: “The fall in construction output in April 2021 was driven by both a fall in new work (2.9 per cent) and repair and maintenance (0.6 per cent). Despite April’s fall, construction remains slightly above February 2020 levels (0.3 per cent).”

Douglas Grant, director of Conister, said: “The monthly rise in UK GDP follows the recent positive trend of economic data, falling in line with what we’d expect as restrictions are lifted and the economy nears fully reopening.”

He added: “As the lifeblood of the UK economy, agile and resilient SMEs have no doubt contributed to this growth in output as they adapt to the post-pandemic economy. However, we must remember that the UK’s SME debt burden is ballooning, and we are in serious danger of seeing a relentless flow of weak zombie-like companies falling off a loan default cliff. It is imperative that we avoid compounding this cycle by focussing solely on supporting sectors and businesses that are strong and nimble enough to adapt to the new economy and therefore continue contributing to its growth.”

This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.