The UK economy grew only 0.4% in October, as the recovery from the coronavirus crisis slowed even before the recent lockdown measures.
The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed GDP expanded for the sixth consecutive month but remained down by 7.9% from the pre-pandemic level in February.
Britain has seen The most severe economic recession ever Earlier this year, coronavirus restrictions crushed economic activity.
It is widely expected to head in the opposite direction again in the current fourth quarter after the rules tighten again.
Britain’s Financial Supervisory Authority expects a recovery in 2021, but has warned that this will be delayed if the Brexit transition period ends without a deal with the European Union.
The pace of growth in October slowed from 1.1% in September and was the weakest since the economy began to recover from the recession.
GDP is expected to contract again in November, pushing the economy into a double-digit downturn.
In response to the latest numbers, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I know people are worried about the winter months, but we will continue to support people with our jobs plan to ensure that no one is left without hope or opportunity.”
The Office for National Statistics said the October data came against a backdrop of “additional national measures” that were provided in response to the second wave of COVID-19.
Growth in the service sector – which accounts for four-fifths of economic output – is almost stagnant at 0.2% with restrictions in effect, including a 10 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants.
However, manufacturing and construction proved more resilient, growing by 1.7% and 1%.
This means that “the economy in general has grown only modestly,” said Jonathan Atho, deputy national statistician for the Office for National Statistics for Economic Statistics.
Budget Responsibility Office (OBR) The economy is expected To contract 11.3% this year – its biggest drop in more than 300 years – before growing 5.5% in 2021.
However, the Balance Sheet Office expects a no-deal Brexit Hit two percentage points Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey believes the long-term economic impact of such an outcome It will be bigger From the epidemic.
“The economy continued to grow in October, but at a slow pace,” said Ruth Gregory, chief economist in the UK at Capital Economics.
“ With the COVID-19 restrictions likely to remain in place for some time, the economy is going through a tough few months now.
“But the scope for a decent ‘vaccine boom’ next year should allow the economy to recover to its pre-epidemic level in early 2022.”