UK economy was ALREADY slowing down before Omicron hit as growth in third quarter is revised down to 1.1% – but recovery last year was FASTER than thought

  • UK economic growth in third quarter has been revised down to 1.1 % from 1.3%
  • Recovery was stronger than thought in 2020 largely explaining the reduction
  • UK plc is now 1.5% below pre-pandemic levels rather than the 2.1% estimated  

The UK economy was slowing down faster than thought before Omicron hit, it was revealed today.

GDP expanded by 1.1 per cent in the three months to September, revised down from a previously estimated 1.3 per cent.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the performance of the health sector and hairdressers were weaker across the third quarter.

However, in a rare bright spot the speed of the recovery last year has been reassessed upwards. As a result UK plc is now only 1.5 per cent below its pre-pandemic level, rather than 2.1 per cent.

GDP expanded by 1.1 per cent in the three months to September, revised down from a previously estimated 1.3 per cent. But the speed of the recovery last year has been reassessed upwards. As a result UK plc is now only 1.5 per cent below its pre-pandemic level, rather than 2.1 per cent

The changes for 2020 help to explain the slowdown in the third quarter, as the economy was growing from a higher base and so recorded a lower percentage increase.   

Experts expect the economy to contract in December as consumers take fright at the new variant sweeping across the UK and globe.

Boris Johnson has so far held of tougher restrictions in England, but other parts of the UK have imposed harsher rules and hospitality firms have seen their trade hammered as people vote with their feet.    

Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics, said: ‘Our revised figures show UK GDP recovered a little slower in the third quarter, with much weaker performances from health and hairdressers across the quarter, and the energy sector contracting 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.

‘With the economy reopening in the third quarter, households saved less in the latest period.

‘However, household saving was still up on pre-pandemic levels.’

The ONS pointed out that most developed economies are still below pre-pandemic levels

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