BRITAIN’S economy grew in February despite lockdown — fuelling hopes high streets will enjoy a bumper summer.
And trade with the EU delivered a “remarkable” bounce back even though there were problems with the new Brexit border checks.
UK goods sent to the bloc jumped 46.6 per cent from January to £11.6billion, the Office for National Statistics says.
And even though shops, pubs and restaurants were shut during February, the nation’s GDP rebounded by 0.4 per cent.
But the positive news is tempered by the fact it is still almost eight per cent smaller than before the pandemic.
HSBC economist Liz Martins said: “We couldn’t expect much of a recovery from the service sector… we saw growth in the other areas like construction and manufacturing.”
She added: “The hope and expectation is a lot of pent up demand will come flooding out.”
The boost in EU exports was driven by machinery, transport equipment and chemicals.
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February’s EU exports were still 11 per cent below the same month last year, a sign of continued border friction.
But Ms Martins said it was a “remarkable improvement”.
EU imports also rebounded, although less sharply.