The United Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose strongly in the second quarter to 4.8% in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced on Thursday as the economy reopened after a lockdown at the start of the year.
GDP is improving after a decline of 1.6 per cent in the first quarter. However, it has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic levels, which are 4.4% lower than at the end of 2019.
During the second quarter, activity improved due to progressive lifting of sanitary restrictions; Especially after the reopening of bars and restaurants.
GDP was mainly maintained by household spending (+7.3%), while investment fell slightly (-0.5%).
Furthermore, growth accelerated to 1% in June, higher than May (+0.6%) but lower than April (+2.2%), the first month since the lockdown at the start of the year.
In June, “the UK economy continued to recover strongly and the hospitality and catering sector benefited from the first full month in which it was possible to eat indoors,” said Jonathan Atho, a statistical officer at the ONS.
The government welcomed the economic progress. “Our economy is improving and showing strong signs of recovery due to the success of our employment plan and our immunization programme,” Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said.
The head of the economic portfolio said the United Kingdom has the fastest growth rate in the G7, although he warned that “challenges still have to be overcome.”
The United Kingdom has been one of the developed countries hardest hit by the health crisis, with a nearly 10% drop in GDP last year, the worst in 300 years, and a balance of more than 130,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
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