UK economy grew 0.6% in September but GDP still below pre-Covid levels

UK economy grew by 0.6% in September slightly ABOVE expectations… but GDP is STILL below pre-pandemic levels with fears growing over spiking inflation

  • The latest ONS figures show the economy grew by 0.6 per cent in September
  • Figure was above expectations but July and August performance revised down
  • Fears are growing over inflation running out of control and squeezing families   

The UK economy grew by a better-than-expected 0.6 per cent in September – but still has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The latest GDP figures show GDP expanding more than the 0.4 per cent pencilled in by analysts for the month.

However, the relatively strong figure came after the Office for National Statistics revised down its estimates for August and July.

Rishi Sunak admitted there are still ‘challenges to overcome’ as UK plc is still 0.6 per cent smaller than before the coronavirus crisis erupted.

In the third quarter overall GDP grew by 1.3 per cent, a sharp slower from the initial phase of the recovery with supply chain chaos biting. 

The pictured emerged amid rising alarm about the threat of inflation, which is expected to hit 5 per cent – well over double the Bank of England’s target.

The US recorded its highest headline rate for more than 30 years yesterday, at 6.2 per cent. 

The latest GDP figures show GDP expanding more than the 0.4 per cent pencilled in by analysts for the month

Mr Sunak said: ‘The economy continues to recover from Covid and thanks to schemes like furlough, the unemployment rate has fallen for eight months in a row and we’re forecast to have the fastest growth in the G7 this year.

‘As the world reopens we know that there are still challenges to overcome.

‘That’s why at the Budget last month I set out our plan to build a stronger economy for the British people.

‘We’re continuing to support businesses, jobs and people so that we can achieve our vision of a high-skill, high-productivity economy where work is rewarded.’

ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said: ‘Growth picked up in September and the UK economy is now only slightly below pre-pandemic levels.

‘This latest increase was led by the health sector, boosted by more visits to GP surgeries in England. 

‘Lawyers also had a busy month as house buyers rushed to complete purchases before the end of the stamp duty holiday. However, these were partially offset by falls in both the manufacture and sale of cars.

‘Notably, business investment remained well down on pre-pandemic levels in the three months to September. 

‘Meanwhile the trade deficit widened as goods exports to non-EU countries fell and imports – particularly of fuel – from non-EU countries increased.’

The recovery in the services sector was the biggest contributor to growth in September

In the third quarter overall GDP grew by 1.3 per cent, a sharp slower from the initial phase of the recovery with supply chain chaos biting

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