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UK economic recovery slows in August

The UK economy continued to recover from the impacts of the coronavirus lockdown in August 2020, but growth was slower than in previous months, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that GDP grew by 2.1% in August 2020, its fourth consecutive monthly increase following sharp decreases in March and April.

Despite support from the eat out to help out scheme and other Government initiatives in August, the figure was lower than previous monthly increases of 6.4% in July, 9.1% in June and 2.7% in May.

GDP remained 9.2% lower than its level in February, before the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ONS also found that in September, 45% of trading businesses reported their turnover had decreased below what they would normally expect at that time of year.

Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"While the latest data confirms a rebound in economic activity continued into August, the sharp slowdown in growth indicates that the recovery may be running out of steam, with output still well below pre-crisis levels.

"The increase in activity in August largely reflects a temporary boost from the economy reopening and government stimulus, including the eat out to help out scheme, rather than proof of a sustained ‘V'-shaped recovery."

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