UK's economic recovery from Covid-19 crisis continues


Britain’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued in July as shops reopened and manufacturing activity resumed but the economy has recovered little more than half the ground lost since the onset of the crisis.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP), rose by 6.6% in July, continuing a rebound from the Covid-19 crisis as non-essential shops reopened and lockdown measures were relaxed.

The figures come after Britain entered the deepest recession since records began in the three months to June, in an economic decline outstripping any other advanced economy after the UK entered lockdown later than other countries and took longer to relax restrictions.

GDP is now 18.6% higher than its lowest ebb in April after the pandemic brought activity around the globe to a standstill. However, it remains 11.7% below the levels recorded in February 2020 before the disease spread to Britain.

The reopening of pubs, campsites and hairdressers fuelled a rebound in activity, while car sales exceeded pre-crisis levels for the first time. After widespread stoppages during lockdown, manufacturing activity recovered and housebuilding activity rose, although the ONS said production and construction levels still remained well below previous levels.

Although staging a rapid recovery in recent months, concerns are mounting that Britain’s economic fightback from the crisis could falter as job losses rise and demand for goods and services remains depressed while risks to public health from the coronavirus crisis remain.

Darren Morgan, the director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “While it has continued steadily on the path towards recovery, the UK economy still has to make up nearly half of the GDP lost since the start of the pandemic.”

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