Film business helps boost UK economy

Official figures show that what’s been described as a “booming film industry” has boosted the growth of the UK economy. The Office for National Statistics says growth rose from 0.2% to 0.3% between the first and second quarter of the year.

The ONS said growth in services, particularly retail, more than offset falls in output in manufacturing and construction.

The success of Wonder Woman at the UK Box Office helped to boost the economy

Darren Morgan from the ONS said services such as film production and distribution had shown improvement, although weaker performance from other sectors pulled down overall growth.

The UK film industry – both in terms in film production and box-office receipts – was one of the best performing parts of the economy in April, May and June. About £20 million in ticket sales for Wonder Woman, despite one of the hottest Junes on record, and strong showings from Alien: Covenant, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, Salazar’s Revenge, were among the biggest boosts to the sector, described by the ONS as “motion picture activities” – helping it grow by 8.2% over the three months.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK economy had been growing consistently for four and a half years. “We can be proud of that, but we are not complacent,” he added. The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said, “Growth for the first half of 2017 is below expectations.”