UK economy grows 2.3% in April as Covid restrictions ease and pubs and stores reopen Business News

Britain’s economy grew in April at the fastest pace since July 2020, but still remains below pre-pandemic levels, official figures show.

Gross domestic product (GDP) – a measure of the size of the economy – grew 2.3%, in part thanks to a 3.4% rebound in the service sector as pubs and non-retailers essentials have welcomed customers again.

Retail sales rose sharply in April 2021 with a monthly increase of 9.2%. Clothing sales jumped 69.4% as the easing of lockdowns allowed for more socialization.

While bars, stores and restaurants saw their spending increase, the construction industry’s output fell 2%, the Office for National Statistics reported.

Caravan parks and vacation rentals rose 68.6% as households also took advantage of the opportunity to travel across the country again. Hairdressers and other personal services increased 63.5 percent.

The service sector – which makes up about four-fifths of the economy – remains 4.1% below its pre-pandemic level, while the economy as a whole remains 3.7% smaller.

Experts predicted that the data would show the recovery to continue into May and June, but highlighted the challenges for the UK economy beyond the pandemic.

“The declines in construction and production, which were less affected by the 2021 lockdown, remind us that we must now focus on the outlook for the economy in the second half of the year, after the temporary reopening effects have ceased. to provide solid monthly. is increasing, ”said Rory Macqueen, senior economist at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the figures were a “promising sign” that the economy was starting to recover.

“With more than a million people on leave in March and April and the number of active employees increasing, it is clear that our employment plan is working.”

Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement on the next stage of reopening on Monday. Businesses that still operate below capacity, such as wedding venues, and those that cannot open at all, such as nightclubs, urge government not to postpone suggested June 21 date to end to all restrictions.

Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi stressed the importance of being “very careful” when asked about the possibility of a postponement of the June 21 lifting of coronavirus restrictions in England.

“There have been some really hard-won battles against this virus and we don’t want to waste the hard-earned gains we have made from the vaccination program,” he told Times Radio Breakfast.

Travel restrictions have also proved controversial. Data released Friday shows Heathrow passenger numbers languishing 90% below pre-pandemic levels.

Heathrow said just 675,000 people traveled through West London Airport last month, up from 6,769,000 in May 2019.

The latest official trade figures show the UK imported more goods from outside the EU in April than at any time since 1997, but the country’s exports have fallen.

Total exports, excluding precious metals, fell 0.6 percent in April after two months of growth.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-06-11 07:19:46

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *