Reuters file photo: Buyers cross the street on Oxford Street in London, UK, August 14, 2016. Reuters / Peter Nichols / File photo
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy grew faster than previously thought during the April-June period, official data showed on Thursday, citing a sharp slowdown in recent times as a hindrance to the economy, including a shortage of truck drivers.
Gross domestic product grew 5.5% in the second quarter, compared to its initial growth of 4.8%, the National Statistics Office said.
The ONS said it was considering more complete data from the health sector, as well as adjusting the data and updating its sources and methods for calculating British economic output.
The figures provided a more complete picture of Britain’s rapid economic bounce-back from the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, but there are signs of a slowdown due to the recent post-epidemic supply and labor crisis.
On Wednesday, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said he thought the economy would regain its epidemic-pre-level output in early 2022 – a month or two later than the BoE forecast in August.
Data on Thursday shows that households increased their spending by about 8% during the April-June period and they sank into their coronavirus lockdown savings.
According to ONS, the savings ratio, which measures their accumulated income in proportion to their total available disposable income, dropped to 18.7% to 11.7% in the first quarter of 2020.
GDP growth was driven by the services sector, particularly in the housing and food industries where production rose 87.6% on a quarterly basis from the resumption of the lockdown.
Despite the microchip deficit, manufacturing output rose 1.8% in the second quarter, hurting car production. Food and beverage production performed well.
ONS says construction production has largely returned to its pre-epidemic stage.
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