UK economy grew slower than expected before Omicron hit | Economic growth (GDP)

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Britain’s economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace between July and September, at 1.1% from the initial estimate of 1.3%, official figures show.

Net trade weighed on growth, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, as exports fell during the period and imports increased. The UK trade balance fell to a deficit of -1.9% of GDP in the third quarter, revised down from the first estimate of -1.2%.

However, household consumption in the quarter rose 2.7%, more than initially estimated and making the largest contribution to spending, as the economy reopened Covid restrictions during the summer months, after the reopening of domestic hotels in England, Scotland and Wales.

The period in question came before the spread of the Omicron variant prompted the government to introduce Plan B Covid measures, leading to a sharp decline in trade in parts of the economy, including the hospitality sector. , with consumers canceling their reservations and choosing to stay at home.

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Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics development at the ONS, said: “Our revised figures show that UK GDP recovered a little more slowly in the third quarter, with much weaker performance from health and hairdressers. throughout the quarter, and the energy sector contracts more in September than we previously estimated. However, stronger data for 2020 means the economy was closer to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter. “

Exports of goods fell 8.8% in the third quarter as fewer products, including machinery and transport equipment, were shipped abroad. This was only slightly offset by a 2.7% increase in services exports, led by financial services.

In contrast, total imports to the UK rose 1.1%, more than expected, due to increased imports of fuels, goods and chemicals.


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