Delta reality bites as data shows summer economic slowdown

The latest GDP figures are a reminder that the UK isn’t out of the pandemic’s woods just yet, writes Anna Isaac

Friday 10 September 2021 18:37
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<p>The latest figures may show that economic growth has slowed, but they won’t derail the Budget</p>

The latest figures may show that economic growth has slowed, but they won’t derail the Budget

Fresh GDP figures show that economic growth cooled this summer. Hopes that, amid a global pandemic, the UK economy could be switched on and off again, have been well and truly put to bed.

The summer slowdown, shown in the monthly growth rate of 0.1 per cent in July compared to 1 per cent in June, has served as a reminder we’re in for a “bumpy ride”, according to Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation. In July, the UK economy was still 2.1 per cent smaller than before the pandemic struck, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The Delta variant, the more contagious relative of earlier Covid-19 iterations, has changed the game somewhat over the summer. It made the so-called ‘pingdemic’ more acute as the country opened up but it also brings into question how open the economy can remain throughout the autumn and winter if hospitalisations rise considerably.

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