Is an economic recovery on the horizon?

Houses of Parliament

Today, it has been revealed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), that the UK economy continued its recovery in August by growing by 2.1%.

The recovery has largely been put down to the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions across the UK, as well as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which boosted restaurant numbers across the country.

Despite the optimism, today’s figure was below expectations, and the UK economy is still 9.2% smaller than before the COVID-19 enforced lockdown.

August’s total marked the fourth consecutive month of growth following the initial slump caused by the pandemic. In June, the economy grew by 8.7% and it grew by 6.6% in July.

A statement from the treasury read: “We have been clear that we stand ready to do more as necessary. Some firms will be affected by coronavirus for longer than others, and we will continue to seek to support these firms appropriately.”

Jonathan Athow, the ONS Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics commented: “The economy continued to recover in August but by less than in recent months. There was strong growth in restaurants and accommodation due to the easing of lockdown rules, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and people choosing summer ‘staycations’. However, many other parts of the service sector recorded muted growth. Construction also continued its recovery, with a significant boost from housebuilding.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s figures show our economy has grown for four consecutive months, but I know that many people are worried about the coming winter months. Throughout this crisis, my single focus has been jobs – protecting as many jobs as possible and providing support for people to find other opportunities where this isn’t possible. This goal remains unchanged.”