Delta cripples UK economy growth

Photo: EPA Rishi Sunak

UK economy slowed and almost halted its growth due to the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant in the country, official figures related to mid-summer 2021 showed. Pandemic spread rapidly in UK after the lockdown restrictions were eased, Reuters elaborated. Economic output rose just 0.1% in July, the Office for National Statistics confirmed. This is the smallest monthly increase since January when UK went into a new national lockdown.

Economists had mostly expected month-on-month growth of 0.6% in gross domestic product. Finance minister Rishi Sunak said he was confident that the economy would continue to recover from the pandemic. But the slowdown in growth may support the voices who think it is premature to talk about withdrawing stimulus, despite growing inflation pressure. Earlier this week, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said he saw a levelling-off in the recovery taking place, with labour shortages, global supply chain problems and Brexit disruption combining to stunt the economic recovery.

Britain saw a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in July as the Delta variant spread rapidly, leading to hundreds of thousands of workers being ordered to stay at home under self-isolation rules which have been relaxed. The dominant services sector was flat in July from June with output in consumer-facing services falling for the first time since January, driven mostly by a drop in the retail sector.

Industrial output grew by 1.2%, boosted by the return to production of an oil field, but manufacturing was flat. Construction output fell by a monthly 1.6%.

Similar articles

  • UK starts replacing EU regulations

    UK starts replacing EU regulations

    Britain is to begin replacing or scrapping EU regulations that were copied into British law before EU divorcet, Brexit minister David Frost said. To avoid uncertainty and confusion as Britain left the EU after 40 years, the government automatically carried thousands of EU laws and regulations into British law so that they would still apply after Brexit.

  • UK’s PM Johnson replaces foreign secretary in Cabinet shake-up

    UK’s PM Johnson replaces foreign secretary in Cabinet shake-up

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demoted his top diplomat and fired his education minister in a major government shakeup Wednesday, as he tried to move on from a series of political missteps and revive his promise to “level up” prosperity across the UK, AP reported. In the biggest move, Johnson demoted Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has faced criticism for delaying his return from a holiday in Greece as the Taliban took over Afghanistan last month.

  • UK recommends Covid-19 booster shots for over 50s

    UK recommends Covid-19 booster shots for over 50s

    The UK will offer a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine to everyone over age 50 and other vulnerable people after an expert panel said the boosters were needed to protect against waning immunity this winter, AP reported. Health Secretary Sajid Javid told lawmakers on Tuesday that the government had accepted the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization and would start offering booster shots next week. The World Health Organization has asked wealthy nations to delay booster shots until every country has vaccinated at least 40% of their populations.