Britain’s economy grew slower than it thought before Omicron hit

The UK economy grew slower than previously thought during the July-September period, before the Omicron variant of the London-coronavirus poses a further threat to recovery later this year, official data show Wednesday. rice field.

Gross domestic product of the world’s fifth-largest economy increased 1.1% in the third quarter, weaker than the provisional estimated growth rate of 1.3%.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, this was slower than the 5.4% recovery of the economy in the second quarter, when many coronavirus regulations were lifted.

Investors are preparing for a slowdown in fourth-quarter 2021 growth with an increase in COVI9 cases caused by Omicron, which has hurt the UK’s hospitality and leisure sector and hit retailers.

“Our revised figures show that UK GDP recovered a bit slower in the third quarter, overall quarterly health and beautician performance is much weaker, and the energy sector is better than previously predicted. It shrank in September, “said Darren Morgan, director of the ONS Economic Statistics Bureau.

“But the stronger data in 2020 mean that the economy in the third quarter is closer to pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

GDP levels were below 1.5% at the end of 2019, up from previous estimates of 2.1% below pre-pandemic levels.

Business investment in the third quarter fell 2.5% from the last three months, nearly 12% below pre-pandemic levels.

The Bank of England wants a resurgence of business investment to improve the UK’s long-term growth outlook.

The UK’s balance of payments deficit expanded to £ 24.4 billion as commodity exports declined, commodity imports increased and foreign companies earned more from their investments in the UK.

Economists surveyed by Reuters expected a smaller deficit of £ 15.6 billion.