London | UK growth slowed sharply in the third quarter to 1.3% due to a shortage of goods and workers, along with a recovery in COVID-19 cases caused by the lifting of all health restrictions.
Thus, GDP is a brake on the second quarter when it rebounded 5.5% thanks to the gradual lifting from March for a period of several months.
However, that GDP is still 2.1% below its level at the end of 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic, the Office for National Statistics notes Thursday in a press release.
In midsummer, the main sectors contributing to this growth were hotels and restaurants, arts and entertainment, and even health services, with strong household consumption.
But Grant Fitzner of the Office for National Statistics said on Twitter: “Business investment remained significantly lower before the pandemic ended for the three months ending in September.”
“The trade deficit also widened due to a decrease in exports of goods to countries outside the European Union, while imports increased, especially fuel from countries outside the European Union,” he said.
The Census Bureau also notes a decline in inventories, “perhaps reflecting some difficulties in supply chains.”
“The economy continues to recover from the coronavirus and thanks to programs such as partial unemployment,” a measure implemented in response to the pandemic and which nonetheless ended at the end of September, “the unemployment rate has been declining for 8 months and we are planning for that,” Economy Minister Rishi Sunak said:
But he admits that “as the world reopens, we continue to have difficulties getting over it.”
“It is encouraging to see that the economy remained dynamic in September, but it is undeniable that it was a difficult quarter for companies, with supply constraints,” notes Albis Baleja, economist at CBI, a major employer organization.
“The combination of increased virus cases and shortages of materials, components and workers has had a huge impact on growth,” he adds.
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