The latest data shows that the UK’s economy grew by 6.6% in July, marking a third consecutive month of expansion.
However, the figures remain well below pre-pandemic levels as businesses throughout Calderdale and beyond continue to battle the impact of Coronavirus.
A spokesperson for the Office for National Statistics said the UK has recovered to “just over half of the lost output caused by the virus”.
The upward turn in July is a result of several factors, and not least of all the reopening of businesses such as pubs, restaurants and hairdressers.
The month represented a milestone moment for many sole traders, partnerships and businesses, but the road ahead remains uncertain for many.
Official figures place the economy at being 11.7% smaller than it was in February, when the first lockdown was imposed, and the 6.6% growth seen in July is actually smaller than the 8.7% we enjoyed in July.
The message to local businesses is one of cautious encouragement tempered with realism, although it’s important to recognise that the picture for individual sectors varies dramatically.
For example, the reopening of restaurants and pubs saw a huge 140% growth in the accommodation and food sector.
The alcohol industry also enjoyed a significant upturn of almost a third (32.7%) as local people returned to pubs and bars
Demand for toys and games also rose during July, while the increasing popularity of ‘staycations’ – where families holiday in the UK – has provided a boost to campsites and caravan parks in Yorkshire and throughout the country.
The accommodation and food services sector looks set to enjoy another increase for August following the introduction of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.
But other sectors haven’t enjoyed the same dramatic upturn, while across the board increases from September onwards are expected to be less stark as businesses across more and more sectors open their doors.
The economy remains almost 12% smaller than it was prior to Coronavirus and there are fears in some quarters that the recovery experienced following the easing of lockdown may not continue into the final quarter of the calendar year.
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