The UK economy has recovered from a recession - but are things back to normal?
Latest figures show that the UK’s economy expanded at a record quarterly rate of over 15 per cent as lockdown restrictions were eased over the summer.
However, it appears that that recovery has now slowed once again, as Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that monthly gross domestic output (GDP) only grew by 1.1 per cent in September.
It appears this record growth was not enough to reverse the damage caused by the pandemic. The ONS said that the country’s economy is still 8.2 per cent smaller than it was before the virus struck.
Rate of growth slowing
Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said, “While all main sectors of the economy continued to recover, the rate of growth slowed again, with the economy still remaining well below its pre-pandemic peak.
“The return of children boosted activity in the education sector. House building also continued to recover, while business strengthened for lawyers and accountants after a poor August.
“However, pubs and restaurants saw less business after the Eat Out to Help Out scheme ended, and accommodation saw less business after a successful summer.”
‘Hard times ahead’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “Today’s figures show that our economy was recovering over the summer, but started to slow going into autumn.
“The steps we’ve had to take since to half the spread of the virus means growth has likely slowed further since then.
“But there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic on the health side - including promising news on tests and vaccines.
“My economic priority continues to be jobs - that’s why we extended furlough through to March and I welcome the news today that nearly 20,000 new roles for young people have been created through our Kickstart scheme.”
“There are still hard times ahead, but we will continue to support people through this and ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity.”
Economy performance depends on Covid-19 restrictions
The performance of the economy will depend heavily on the Covid-19 restrictions that are implemented around the UK.
Currently, England is experiencing a second national lockdown, set to end on 2 December.
In Scotland, a five tier system has been put in place, with many locations placed into the second highest category - tier three.