The UK economy grew 0.6% this summer

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The UK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.6% in the three months to July. The rolling three-month growth picked up from growth of 0.4% in the second quarter (Apr to June) 2018 The month-on-month UK economy growth rate was 0.3% in May 2018, 0.1% in June and 0.3% in July.

Rolling three-month growth in July 2018 was the highest since August 2017, when it was also 0.6%. This continued a pickup from flat growth seen in April 2018, which was in some part related to the bad weather seen in the first quarter of 2018. Rolling three-month growth was last higher in February 2017 at 0.9%.

Crucially for merchants, the key driver of this growth was in the retail sector, which increased sales which saw significant increases in sales. Services industries grew by 0.6% in the three months to July, while retail trade grew by 2.1% and wholesale trade by 1.6%.

Growth in the economy picked up in the three months to July. Services grew particularly strongly, with retail sales performing well, boosted by warm weather and the World Cup. The construction sector also bounced back after a weak start to the year. However, production fell back, with manufacturing again slipping a little while energy generation and supply fell due to reduced demand.
– Rob Kent-Smith, Office for National Statistics

What isn’t clear is the extent to which this figure relates to ecommerce and online sales. The suspicion must be that the good weather in the summer may have had a negative impact on ecommerce and that picture may become clearer when the August numbers become available.

That said, anecdotally, several marketplace merchants have been in touch recently to report that the August bank holiday was the best in memory. For many years that weekend represented the nadir of the online retailing year. One theory is that mobile shopping has changed that trend in recent years. The weather was, in Sussex anyway, also quite wet which surely cannot hurt.

One Response

  1. My sales on eBay for the last Last 31 days are up by 32.3% on the previous 31 days but I won’t be getting too excited about that.

    Comparing the month of August to last year the sales on eBay are down by 27%

    Comparing my overall sales of August last year my sales were up by 30%, despite such a fall in eBay sales.

    But anything can happen next month…


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