The UK economy showed signs of recovery in Q3 as GDP grew a record 15.5% from July to September.
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics ( ONS) come after the UK suffered its largest ever decrease in GDP of 20.4% in Q2.
This means that despite the record growth in Q3, the UK economy is still 8.2% smaller than it was before the coronavirus pandemic.
The pace of growth increased in July and August off the back of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, with GDP growing by 6.3% and 2.2% respectively. Growth slowed in September to just 1.1% however.
GDP is widely expected to go into decrease again in the final quarter of 2020 due to the month-long national lockdown announced at the start of November.
Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics Jonathan Athow said:“While all main sectors of the economy continued to recover, the rate of growth slowed again with the economy still remaining well below its pre-pandemic peak.The return of children to school boosted activity in the education sector. Housebuilding also continued to recover, while business strengthened for lawyers and accountants after a poor August.
“However, pubs and restaurants saw less business, after the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme ended, and accommodation saw less business after a successful summer.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: “Today’s figures show that our economy was recovering over the summer, but started to slow going into autumn.The steps we’ve had to take since to halt the spread of the virus mean growth has likely slowed further since then.
“But there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic on the health side – including promising news on tests and vaccines. There are still hard times ahead, but we will continue to support people through this and ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity.”