Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) recorded the third consecutive monthly rise in July 2020 but remained far below the pre-pandemic levels, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Friday.
ONS data showed that the GDP grew by 6.6 percent in July compared with the previous month, following a monthly growth of 8.7 percentage in June and 2.4 percentage in May.
“While it has continued steadily on the path towards recovery, the UK economy still has to make up nearly half of the GDP lost since the start of the pandemic,” said Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics.
The output in July did not fully recover from the plunge across March and April, with GDP still being 11.7 percent below the pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020, said the ONS.
Compared with the GDP for February, the decrease was widely seen across all sectors in July, with services, production and construction losing by 12.6 percent, 7.0 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively.
“The economy benefitted in July from the opening up of pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and some other services sectors in England at the beginning of the month,” said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, an economics forecasting group in Britain.
The EY ITEM Club predicted that economy may maintain momentum in August, being on course of strong bounce back in the third quarter (Q3) from a contraction in the second one (Q2).
Thomas Pugh, an economist at London-based economic analysis firm Capital Economics, said: “The strong 6.6 percent m/m rise in GDP in July suggests that the record-breaking negative growth rate of GDP in Q2 will be followed by a record-breaking positive growth rate in Q3.”
“However, July was probably the last of the big step ups in activity and a full recovery is unlikely to be achieved until early 2022, which is why we think the Bank of England will yet expand QE by a further 250 billion pounds (about 320.4 billion U.S. dollars) in total,” Pugh added.