UK economy grew by 6.6% in July as lockdown measures were eased

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The UK economy grew by 6.6% in July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – driven by the services sector.

Figures released this morning by the ONS reflect the easing of lockdown restrictions in July.

But the ONS said that the UK “has still only recovered just over half of the lost output caused by the coronavirus”.

The main findings:

  • Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 6.6% during July 2020 but was 11.7% below February 2020 levels.
  • Following a third consecutive month of growth during July 2020, monthly GDP has recovered just over half of the decline in output from February 2020, measured from its lowest point during April 2020.

  • Services saw widespread improvement in July 2020, with over half of the growth coming from industries where continued easing of lockdown restrictions had a significant impact, namely education, motor trades, pubs and restaurants, personal services, and hotels and accommodation.
  • Manufacturing and construction saw widespread improvement during July 2020, with motor vehicle manufacturing and house building showing the strongest growth.

Response from British Chamber of Commerce

BCC Head of Economics Suren Thiru said: “The latest data confirms that UK economic activity continued to pick-up in July as lockdown restrictions eased further. 

“The UK economy is currently in a period of temporary calm, with activity buoyed by the government’s emergency support measures and the unwinding of pent-up customer demand as more parts of the economy reopened. 

“However, with many firms continuing to face an unprecedented cash crisis and unemployment likely to surge as the support schemes wind down, there remains little prospect of a sustained resurgence unless substantial action is taken.   

“To protect jobs and livelihoods, the government should consider extending and adapting the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to ensure businesses are supported sustainably over a longer period, as well as introducing a more significant package of support for firms placed under local restrictions.” 


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