August 12, 2021 Updated: August 12, 2021 3:08 am
LONDON (AP) – Official figures show the UK economy grew 4.8% in the second quarter of 2021 when lockdown restrictions were lifted, but is 4.4% below pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.
The National Statistics Bureau also announced Thursday that the UK economy grew 1% in June alone, the fifth consecutive month of growth. June was the first full month that many economic sectors were fully open after the restrictions were lifted.
“The UK economy has continued to recover strongly, with the hospitality industry benefiting from the first full month of indoor dining, while advertising spending increased with the reopening of many services,” said Jonathan Athow, assistant national economist for business statistics.
The lifting of pandemic restrictions following the rapid introduction of vaccines in the UK has spurred growth in recent months. All legal contact restrictions, such as social distancing rules and caps on the number of people allowed to congregate, were lifted in July.
Economists expect further growth in the coming months, although confirmed virus cases have increased due to increased social contacts. The Bank of England said last week that “a waning effect” from COVID-19 would fuel demand growth and help the UK economy reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.