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Britain’s economy is soaring as Covid restrictions ease

The U.K. economy increased by 2.3% in April, thanks to the easing of coronavirus restrictions fuelled a rebound in consumer spending. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced on Friday that GDP soared for the third consecutive month as pandemic lockdowns were scaled back across all four nations of the United Kingdom. The economy is growing at the fastest pace since July 2020.

Furthermore, retail sales grew significantly thanks to the reopening of non-essential shops, alongside a pickup in bookings for holiday lets and caravan parks. Besides, the reopening of hospitality venues outdoors increased spending in restaurants, pubs, and bars. Overall, the U.K. GDP surged forward by 1.5% in the three months to April compared with the previous three months.

The latest figures are a promising sign that the British economy is beginning to recover – noted Rishi Sunak, the chancellor. The ONS also announced that the annual rate of growth in April reached 27.6%, showing the clear difference from the worst month of the Covid-19 pandemic a year earlier. It seems the economy is recovering from the biggest collapse in output for more than 300 years at last.

Despite such growth, the economy is still almost 4% below its pre-pandemic level. Analysts are concerned about the rising Covid infections caused by the Delta variant, first detected in India.

How did the other sectors fare?

Industrial production tumbled down by 1.3% as shutdowns in many vehicle plants and large-scale oilfield maintenance work hindered stronger growth in the economy. The construction sector also declined by 2% in April after strong growth in March.

According to Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, stronger growth seemed likely as lockdown rules eased. However, she added that the rebound would soon lose momentum if the authorities did not step up investment.

O’Grady also noted that they need a much more ambitious plan for infrastructure and green industry. There’s a chance to replace the jobs lost in the coronavirus pandemic.

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