UK GDP up in Q3 amid further lockdown easing


The UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) has recorded a 1.3 per cent quarterly rise in the third quarter as Covid-19 restrictions were further eased, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in its latest update.

The third quarter GDP was still 2.1 per cent below where it was before the pandemic in the fourth quarter in 2019, Xinhua news agency quoted the ONS as saying.

The output of the service sector grew by 1.6 per cent in the third quarter when compared with the previous quarter, with 0.7 per cent below fourth quarter 2019 levels, figures showed.

Meanwhile, production output increased by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter, 2.1 per cent below its pre-Covid levels.

Construction output fell by 1.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Earlier this month, the Bank of England announced that it will keep interest rates unchanged at 0.1 per cent despite widespread speculation that it will raise rates to contain rising inflation.

Annual inflation stood at 3.1 per cent in September, and is expected to peak at around 5 per cent in April 2022, the bank predicted, adding that the upward pressure on the consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, is expected to dissipate over time.

The bank made two emergency base rate cuts from 0.75 per cent to 0.1 per cent to support businesses and households since the Covid-19 pandemic began.