UK economy slows although restrictions waived

Photo: EPA Supermarket sales fell as more people ate out.

The UK economy in May slowed its Covid-19 recovery although travel and transport restrictions in the country were relaxed, official data showed. The slowdown was provoked by the shortage of raw materials for the industrial production and especially semiconductor chips for the making of vehicles, Reuters reported. UK GDP rose by 0.8% in May which is far below 2.0% in April and under previous forecasts of 1.5%.

Britain suffered one of the biggest blows from pandemic among advanced economies last year and GDP in May was 3.1% below its level in February 2020, the last full month before the country first went into lockdown. The Bank of England expects Britain's economy to grow by 7.25% this year, the fastest annual growth since 1941 when Britain was rearming during WWII. Last year output slumped by almost 10%, the biggest drop in more than 300 years. April saw the easing of restrictions for non-essential retailers, hairdressers, and pubs and restaurants that could serve customers outside. In May, hospitality firms were allowed to resume indoor service. UK's dominant services sector grew by a weaker-than-expected 0.9% in May from April as a huge 37.1% monthly jump for accommodation and food services failed to offset slower increases elsewhere in the sector. Supermarket sales fell as more people ate out, and education output dropped due to a decline in school attendance. Industrial output rose by 0.8% but manufacturing shrank narrowly. The chip shortage affecting carmakers led to the biggest fall in their output since April 2020.

Similar articles

  • UK reports a fall in number of new coronavirus cases for fifth day in a row

    UK reports a fall in number of new coronavirus cases for fifth day in a row

    The number of new daily cases of Covid-19 in the UK has fallen for the fifth day in a row, news wires reported. A total of 29,173 cases announced by the government on Sunday, were down from the 48,161 recorded a week ago on 18 July. It is the fifth day in a row that the number of daily reported cases has dropped, with average daily cases down 15% week on week. The last time cases fell for five consecutive days was between 5 and 9 February.

    47
  • UK needs 10 times as many EV charge-points by 2030

    UK needs 10 times as many EV charge-points by 2030

    Britain's competition regulator on Friday laid out guidelines to ensure a robust electric vehicle (EV) charging network to aid the country's net zero plans, as it also launched a probe into some charge-point operators on highways and motorways, Reuters reports.

    44
  • Quarantine rules for workers to be eased in England to avoid shortages

    Quarantine rules for workers to be eased in England to avoid shortages

    The British government has sought to ease food supply pressures in England by exempting more than 10,000 workers from quarantine rules that had led to staff shortages and empty shelves and fears of panic-buying, AP reported. In an announcement late Thursday following mounting pressure from increasingly vexed retailers, the government outlined plans for daily Covid-19 testing of critical food industry workers that will effectively allow those who test negative to continue working even if they have been notified on their phones to self-isolate due to contact with someone with the virus.

    39