UK Economic Outlook: January - April 2021

Market Report provided by CBRE

Monthly GDP in the UK increased by 0.4% in February. This suggests that economic activity is around 8% below pre-Covid levels. Despite increasing 0.2% month-on-month, the service sector remained weak in February as the lockdown restrictions meant consumer-facing services remained closed. On the other hand manufacturing and construction output, which are less affected by the current set of restrictions, continued to grow strongly. High-frequency indicators point to a continued increase in activity in March, with credit and debit card spending and job advertisements trending notably higher. Coupled with the reopening of schools on 8 March (which will have also boosted activity) we expect Q1’s GDP fall to be just 2% quarter-on-quarter; a fraction of the 19% quarter-on-quarter fall seen in the first lockdown in Q2 2020.