Who would have thought that sitting in the dark, popcorn and chocolate close to hand, watching a film that I have been looking forward to for ages, would make the difference to the Gross Domestic Product statistics for this quarter April – June 2017 which grew slightly by 0.3% over all. Now that sounded like a bit of a mouthful to me to at first, but on doing a bit of research I realised that it is all about the UK economy and how it is faring at the moment.
With the box office successes of Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge and Wonder Woman during the past three months, it has meant that the service aggregate was the main driver to growth in the economy. Motion picture activities- including production activity and box office sales, came in second, after retail trade, and grew by by 8.2%. The UK’s film, music and TV sectors have been growing since 2014 largely due to Hollywood studios electing to shoot big budget films in the UK, this has been the trend since the introduction of a UK film tax relief scheme. Some of the well known films shot in the UK over the past few years have been Skyfall – the Scottish Highlands featuring in the finale, Snow White and the Huntsman – the battle scene was filmed in Wales and one of the latest films, Wonder Woman.
Back to the economy, coming in at first position this past quarter (April – June 2017) and the main contributors to the growth was the distribution, hotels and restaurants sector which increased by 1.1% and the retail sector (except motor vehicles and food and beverage service activities). These industries combined contributed 0.12 percentage points to the GDP.
Darren Morgan, ONS (Office for National Statistics) head of national accounts said, ‘While
services such as retail and film production and distribution showed some improvement in the
second quarter, a weaker performance from construction and manufacturing pulled down overall
Production, Construction and Manufacturing were the largest downward pulls on the quarterly GDP. Production was down by 0.4% and Construction down by 0.9%. Production decreased mainly due to a large fall in the manufacture of motor vehicles.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) the new car market rose by 8.4% in March 2017 with consumers and businesses bringing forward purchases to avoid the vehicle excise duty (VED) which came into force on the 1st April 2017. Under the new system all new cars except those with zero emissions are subject to an annual flat rate charge.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK economy had now grown consistently for four and a
‘We can be proud of that, but we are not complacent’ he added.
‘We need to focus on restoring productivity growth to deliver higher wages and living standards
for people across the country’.
I’m all for actively supporting the economy, so ‘date night’ this weekend will definitely involve a cinema visit.