The UK economy grew 0.9% in November, a growth that has seen it recover all of its pandemic losses and spark hopes that another bounce back this year is on the cards.
However, these figures pertain to a period when Omicron renewed working-from-home orders and broader consumer caution.
City economists expect GDP to fall at least slightly in December, while inflation and cost of living could make January and February sluggish.
Traders say that the shortage of laborers and the illness of the employees are causing problems.
The ONS recorded: services (0.7%), production (1.0%) and construction (3.5%) production all increased between October and November 2021; This means that services and construction output are both up 1.3% from their pre-coronavirus levels while production is down 2.6%.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:
“It is amazing to see the size of the economy return to pre-pandemic levels in November – a testament to the grit and determination of the British people.
“The government continues to support the economy, including grants, loans and tax relief for businesses, and our plan for jobs is ensuring that people up and down the country have great opportunities.
“We all have an important role to play in protecting lives and jobs, and I urge everyone to do your part by promoting them as soon as possible.”
CBI was more cautious. CBI Chief Economist Alpesh Paleja said:
“While it is good that economic growth picks up in November, the data outweighs events. Activity in December is very likely to be affected, as the spread of the Omicron variant and subsequent restrictions have reduced operations in some areas. interrupted.
“As we begin the new year, the near-term outlook is also clouded by additional challenges: labor shortages – exacerbated by disease absences, supply chain disruptions and reduced cost of living for households “
ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said:
“The economy grew strongly in the month before what turned out to be a bumper month with Omicron architects, retailers, couriers and accountants. Construction also recovered from several weak months, as many raw materials became easier to hold. ,