The UK economy grew by a record 15.5 percent in July to the third quarter of September this year, but remains 8.2 percent smaller than before the pandemic, official figures show.
The growth figure is the largest the UK has recorded in a quarter and is a clear change from the first six months of the year, when gross domestic product, or GDP, fell 22.3 percent.
However, the economy grew at a slower-than-expected 1.1 percent in September from August, even before the latest restrictions on business, said the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, or ONS.
Analysts warned of a further contraction to come, driven by a second national lockdown this month.
The Bank of England estimates that the world’s sixth-largest economy is expected to shed 11 percent over the year, before growing more than 7 percent in 2021.
The ONS comparison shows the UK economy saw the largest decline among the major economies, twice as large as the decline in Italy, Germany and France and nearly three times the size of the decline in the United States.
Reuters reports that the UK economy is supported by more than 200 billion pounds ($ 264 billion) in emergency spending and tax cuts ordered by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and by the Bank of England’s 900 billion pound bond purchase program.
Sunak acknowledged in a statement on Thursday that recovery had slowed. He said: “The steps we have to take since stopping the spread of the virus mean growth is likely to slow even further.
“But there are reasons for optimistic caution on the health front – including promising news about tests and vaccines.”
In September there was an increase in education as children returned to school and house construction continued to recover.
Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, warned: “While all major sectors of the economy continue to recover, the pace of growth is slowing again, with the economy still well below its pre-pandemic peak.
“However, pubs and restaurants saw less business after the Eat Out To Help Out scheme ended, and accommodations saw less business after a successful summer.”
The crisis has had a major impact on jobs as unemployment rose to nearly 5 percent in the July-September period as layoffs hit a record 314,000, up from 181,000 in the previous quarter.