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UK economy grew by 6.6 per cent in July as lockdown measures continued to ease

Time 8 months ago

The UK economy grew by 6.6 per cent in July, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

The ONS said GDP increased for the third consecutive month in July after lockdown restrictions eased further, but remained 11.7 per cent below pre-virus levels.

Figures showed that the economic rebound decelerated after the UK had reported 8.7 per cent growth in June.

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The UK has now clawed back around half of the output it lost after the pandemic fully hit the economy, said the ONS.

Most sectors grew, particular the construction industry which was buoyed by the building of new houses.

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.

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‘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.’

James Smith, research director at the Resolution Foundation think tank, said: ‘The UK economy continued to rebound over the summer as lockdown restrictions eased.

‘But it’s the level of activity that matters, which remains hugely down on pre-pandemic levels.

‘More worryingly, the rise in Covid cases and return of public health restrictions means we are coming towards the end of the easy economic wins from restarting activity.

‘With emergency support to firms and workers being withdrawn, far tougher times lie ahead this autumn.’

James Batchelor

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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