UK economy bounced back by 16 per cent between July and September but national debt is the highest for 60 years and GDP is almost NINE PER CENT below where it was at the end of 2019
- UK GDP increased by an estimated 16 per cent between July and September
- That represents the largest quarterly expansion in the UK ever recorded by ONS
- But UK GDP in third quarter still 8.6 per cent below where it was at end of 2019
- Meanwhile, Government borrowing still at record levels because of Covid crisis
The UK economy grew by 16 per cent between July and September after coronavirus lockdown rules were eased – but GDP was still almost nine per cent below where it was at the end of 2019.
The 16 per cent increase in the third quarter of the year represents the largest quarterly expansion in the UK economy ever recorded by the Office for National Statistics since records began in 1955.
The latest ONS data reveals there was a cumulative fall in GDP in the first half of 2020 of 21.2 per cent as the national shutdown from March hammered UK PLC.
The British economy shrunk by three per cent in the first quarter between January and March as the nation felt the first effects of the pandemic.
But that was followed by a fall of 18.8 per cent in the second quarter between April and June as draconian curbs hit hard.
Official data shows the UK economy recorded a massive bounce back between July and September after coronavirus curbs were eased but Government borrowing continues to soar as Chancellor Rishi Sunak props up jobs and businesses
Despite the massive bounce back in the third quarter, the ONS said that UK GDP was still 8.6 per cent below where it was before the pandemic.
That dip is almost twice as large as the cumulative drop in GDP in other G7 leading countries, according to the ONS.
The figures came as the stats body also revealed that the Government set yet another borrowing record in November.
Public sector net borrowing last month was estimated to have been £31.6billion which is £26billion more than was borrowed by ministers in the same month last year.
The £31.6billion figure is the highest November borrowing ever recorded and the third-highest borrowing in any month since records started in 1993.
Overall public sector net borrowing in the first eight months of the current financial year is now estimated to have been just over £240billion.
That is £188.6billion more than between April and November last year and it is the highest borrowing ever recorded in that period.
Public sector debt continues to climb, with the latest estimates suggesting it has increased by just over £300billion in the first eight months of the financial year.
It reached an estimated £2.1trillion by the end of November – equivalent to 99.5 per cent of UK GDP which is the highest debt to GDP ration recorded since 1962.
Recent official forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predict borrowing could reach £393.5 billion by the end of the financial year next March, which would be the highest seen since the Second World War.
It comes after the Government launched more than 40 schemes across the UK to help households and businesses through the coronavirus crisis.
One of the most costly has been the furlough scheme for workers, which was last week extended again until April 2021.
The most recent figures from HM Revenue & Customs showed another £3.4 billion worth of claims were made between November 15 and December 13, taking total claims to £46.4billion and 9.9million furloughed jobs.
The ONS said borrowing rose as tax and National Insurance receipts fell by £38.3billion – or 8.6 per cent – year on year in the eight months to November.
But government support for individuals and businesses during the pandemic contributed to a 30 per cent or £147.3billion hike in central government spending.