The Office for National Statistics’ latest GDP figures, just released, show that the UK economy expanded by 6.6% during July.
That follows growth of 8.7% in June and 2.4% in May, after the record-breaking 20% contraction in April. And it means the economy has recovered more than half the output lost during the pandemic.
But despite the recovery, output is still sharply lower than before the virus outbreak began.
In the May-July, the ONS says, the economy shrank by 7.6% compared with the previous quarter, as the country struggled through its deepest recession in decades. That shows the challenge facing the economy, just as Covid-19 cases rise again.
The ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan 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.
“Education grew strongly as some children returned to school, while pubs, campsites and hairdressers all saw notable improvements. Car sales exceeded pre-crisis levels for the first time with showrooms having a particularly busy time.
“All areas of manufacturing, particularly distillers and car makers, saw improvements, while housebuilding also continued to recover. However, both production and construction remain well below previous levels.”