Household consumption growth picked up to 0.3 percent in the second quarter from 0.2 percent in the previous three-month period; and gross fixed capital formation increased 0.8 percent, rebounding from a 1.3 percent contraction in Q1, driven by rises in business investment (0.5 percent vs -0.4 percent in Q1) and private dwelling investment (1.1 percent vs 1.5 percent). Also, government spending advanced 0.4 percent, the same pace as in the previous period.
Imports of goods and services dropped 0.8 percent (vs -0.2 percent in Q1) and exports slumped 3.6 percent (vs flat reading in Q1). As a result, the trade deficit widened sharply to £7.244 billion from £3.174 billion in the previous period.
From the production side, services output grew 0.5 percent in the second quarter (vs 0.3 percent in Q1). This marked the strongest quarterly growth in services since the last quarter of 2016, mainly driven by wholesale and retail trade (1.6 percent vs unchanged), transport storage and communication (1.3 percent vs 0.1 percent), other services (1.2 percent vs 0.6 percent) and real estate (0.3 percent vs 0.1 percent). Also, construction activity rebounded firmly (0.9 percent vs -0.8 percent). By contrast, industrial production shrank 0.8 percent in the second quarter (vs 0.4 percent in Q1) due to declines in manufacturing (-0.9 percent vs -0.1 percent) and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (-2.7 percent vs 1.4 percent); while output rose for mining and quarrying (0.7 percent vs 2.5 percent) and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (1.9 percent vs 1.7 percent).