Business

ONS: UK economy great by 7.5 per cent in 2021

After a 9.4 per cent slump in 2020, the UK's economy grew by 7.5 per cent last year.

UK gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded by 7.5 per cent in 2021, according to official figures.

The growth, which exceeded projections by the Bank of England, followed a 9.4 per cent slump in the economy in 2020.

The data from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) came one day after the European Commission estimated that GDP in the Republic grew by 13.7 per cent in 2021.

The Republic's economy is expected to grow by 5.5 per cent in 2022, up from the previous forecast of 5.1 per cent, with inflation rising to 4.6 per cent, up from the European Commission's 3.1 per cent prediction in the autumn.

The latest ONS analysis showed the UK economy grew by one per cent in the final three months of 2021, despite the impact of the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The UK economy contracted by 0.2 per cent in December as the hospitality and leisure sector felt the brunt of Omicron and related government restrictions.

However, the economy remained at pre-pandemic levels from February 2020.

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: "GDP fell back slightly in December as the Omicron wave hit, with retail and hospitality seeing the biggest impacts.

"However, these were partially offset by increases in the Test and Trace service and vaccination programmes.

"Despite December's setback, GDP grew robustly across the fourth quarter as a whole, with the NHS, couriers and employment agencies all helping to support the economy.

"Overall, GDP in December was in line with its level in February 2020, before Covid-19 struck, while in the fourth quarter as a whole, it was slightly below that of quarter four in 2019."

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