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Latest GDP figures highlight the importance of hospitality in aiding economic recovery

Hospitality was responsible for almost half of the UK’s economic growth from Q1 to Q2 of 2021, new research finds.

Happy business owner hanging an open sign at a cafe: Latest GDP figures highlight the importance of hospitality in aiding economic recovery

In wake of the pandemic, the UK economy grew by 4.8% in Q2 of 2021, according to ONS data published on 12 August.

Further analysis by CGA’s UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker showed that hospitality was responsible for 40% of the UK’s total economic growth in this period.

In contrast, from Q1 to Q2 of 2020, the UK’s GDP was down 19.5% as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns.

While this data comes as a sign of economic recovery for the UK, the hospitality industry is not out of the woods. The sector collectively lost over £100 billion in sales across the pandemic.

Commenting on the latest figures, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “These figures not only show the importance of the hospitality sector to the UK economy, even in the severely restricted and beleaguered state it was in during the second quarter of this year, but also demonstrate its real potential to power a wider economic recovery now trading restrictions have finally been eased after almost 18 months.

“However, this was not a period characterised by booming sales and plain sailing for the sector, but many weeks where businesses were still operating under strict restrictions and experienced a multitude of challenges brought about by the pandemic.”

Hospitality is the third largest private sector employer in the UK. it represents 10% of employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP.

UKHospitality is calling for reform of business rates and a permanently lowered rate of VAT from the Government in light of the suffering brought about in the last 18 months.

You may be surprised to know that port consumption was up during the first national lockdown. Find out why here.

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