UK economic growth slows in August despite ‘eat out to help out’

Britain’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued at a slower pace in August as the government’s eat out to help out scheme fuelled a rise in consumer spending.

logo, company name: Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

                                        © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product rose by 2.1% in August compared with the previous month, missing expectations among City economists for a monthly growth rate of 4.4%.

Continuing a fightback from the deepest recession in history as Britons raised their spending in cafes, restaurants and pubs, the latest snapshot comes as concerns mount over the strength of the UK’s economic fightback as the second wave in coronavirus infections spreads and the government imposes tough new restrictions on business and social life.

logo: An eat out to help out scheme sign is displayed in a restaurant.

                                       © Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA An eat out to help out scheme sign is displayed in a restaurant.

After staging a rapid recovery in recent months, GDP is now 21.7% higher than its lowest ebb during lockdown in April. However, it remains 9.2% below pre-pandemic levels and could take years to recover while the virus and efforts to contain its spread continue to drag down activity.



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