The UK economy is set to return to pre-Covid levels by the end of 2021, a year earlier than expected, the CBI has predicted.
The business group said the economy is expected to grow by 8.2% this year and 6.1% in 2022, while the peak in unemployment will be lower than was previously forecast, the PA News agency reports.
But business investment will remain 5% below levels seen before the pandemic struck.
The economy is poised for “considerable” growth over the coming months despite the delay in ending the lockdown, said the CBI.
Its report pointed to the rapid rollout of vaccines and the “unleashing” of pent-up demand, although the CBI warned that stagnant productivity and business investment remained a problem.
The extension of the Job Retention Scheme into the autumn and expectations of a stronger economic recovery will lead to a lower peak in unemployment, it was predicted.
BusinessLive is your home for business news from around the North West- and you can stay in touch with all the latest news from Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria through our email alerts.
You can sign up to receive daily morning news bulletins from every region we cover and to weekly email bulletins covering key economic sectors from manufacturing to technology and enterprise. And we’ll send out breaking news alerts for any stories we think you can’t miss.
By bringing together North West coverage with that from across Reach’s titles in England and Wales, BusinessLive will shine a spotlight on the entrepreneurs, the stars of the future and the small firms that are the backbone of our economy.
Visit our email preference centre to sign up to all the latest news from BusinessLive.
CBI director general Tony Danker said: “There are really positive signs about the economic recovery ahead this year and next. The data clearly indicates that there is pent-up demand and ambition across many sectors.
“The imperative now must be to seize the moment to channel this investment into the big drivers of long-term UK prosperity.
“That’s why it’s the right time for Government to come forward with far more detailed plans on everything from decarbonisation, to innovation to levelling up.
“Clearly this does not apply to the hardest-hit sectors from the pandemic who even now face continued delays and genuine challenges to stay viable.
“It would be devastating for hospitality, events or aviation businesses to fail on what we hope is the last leg of restrictions.”