GDP Rising with Relaxed Lockdown Rules

Photo taken on Aug. 1, 2020 shows a few bubbles in front of the City of London in London, Britain. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

The UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) has recorded a 1.3 percent 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 percent 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 percent in the third quarter when compared with the previous quarter, with 0.7 percent below fourth-quarter 2019 levels, figures showed.

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

Construction output fell by 1.5 percent quarter-on-quarter.

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

Annual inflation stood at 3.1 percent in September, and is expected to peak at around 5 percent 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 percent to 0.1 percent to support businesses and households since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

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