- UK economy bounces back in 3rd quarter, but what is next?
The UK economy managed to grow by a record 15.5% in the third quarter of a very difficult year but remains 8.2 % lower than before the pandemic hit the country.
There is no doubt that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s “Eat Out to Help Out scheme” and summer staycations within the UK helped boost the economy. However, a second lockdown that started in November is highly likely to damage the V-shaped recovery.
“There are still hard times ahead, but we will continue to support people through this and ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity," Sunak said last week commenting on the economic data.
To support jobs and firms to survive the harsh winter, Sunak rolled out and extension of the furlough scheme until the end of March to pay 80% of the income of those who could not work
The UK’s economy shrank by 2.5 % in the first quarter followed by a record 19.8 % growth in the second quarter. Growth in the last quarter will be dependent on Christmas shopping in December and trade following the end of the lockdown set for Dec 2.
-Pandemic case levels still concerning for UK
British health authorities have reported 376 new fatalities from the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the weekly tally to 2,829. The total number of fatalities has now reached 51,304 – the highest in Europe. According to the latest data, 27,301 new cases were recorded over the past 24 hours.
A national lockdown has been in place in England for a week and is set to end for now on Dec. 2, when it will be reviewed.
The total number of deaths passed the grim milestone of 50,000 on Wednesday.
Moreover, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. It demonstrates that despite the good news coming from various vaccine trials, the UK is not yet out of the woods.
Speaking at the Financial Times’ Global Boardroom event, the Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said, “The news is encouraging”, but added: “I think we have to be cautious because there’s still quite a way to go in trialing [a vaccine], in production and distribution, and putting all this into action.”