UK economic growth slows despite restaurant boost

The UK economy continued its recovery in August, growing by 2.1%, as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme boosted restaurants.

But the figure was below expectations and the economy is still 9.2% smaller than before the pandemic struck.

It marked the fourth consecutive month of expansion following the slump induced by the coronavirus lockdown.

However, growth in August was slower than the expansion seen in both June and July.

In June, the economy grew by 8.7% and in July, by 6.6%.

Eat Out to Help Out, which ran from Monday to Wednesday during August, offered 50% off food up to the value of £10.

Discounts for more than 100 million meals were claimed through the scheme.

What is likely to happen next?

Analysts said the coming months were likely to see growth slackening further because of new Covid restrictions, the end of the furlough scheme in October and concern over a no-deal Brexit.

“We have been clear that we stand ready to do more as necessary,” a Treasury spokesperson said. “Some firms will be affected by coronavirus for longer than others, and we will continue to seek to support these firms appropriately.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce further coronavirus support measures later on Friday, including an extension to the Job Support Scheme for business affected by local lockdowns.


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