Doctors and Recruiters Kept the U.K. Economy Growing in October
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. economy owes the meager growth it registered in October to just a handful of activities, almost all of them in the dominant services sector.
Health care was the biggest contributor to the 0.1% increase in gross domestic product from September, as more doctors carried out face-to-face appointments with patients.
The next largest was the sector that includes employment agencies as companies struggled to fill record numbers of vacancies. Travel agencies, tour operators and other reservation services also boomed.
Meanwhile, there was a significant boost from retailers with many consumers beginning Christmas shopping early, as well as from auto repairers, which are benefitting from strong demand for second-hand vehicles due to component shortages curtailing production of new cars.
Together, these industries did much to offset the drag from activities ranging from financial services to restaurants and hotels. Construction shrank and manufacturing stagnated during the month, both industries hit by shortages of materials and components.
How the better-performing areas in October fare this month remains unclear after Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced new measures to combat the omicron variant of Covid-19. Travel in particular could by hit by the curbs, which includes guidance for people to work from home and the compulsory wearing of face masks in most indoor venues.
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