LONDON – The UK economy grew 0.1 percent in February, according to to data out Monday from the Office for National Statistics.
Restrictions on international travel were eased, boosting tourism and services, but manufacturing has lagged and a fall in utilization of government health facilities weighed on gains, the ONS said.
“The economy was little changed in February with the easing of restrictions on outbound travel,” Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said in a statement.
Growth in international travel and hotel bookings “was partially offset by reductions in test-and-trace and vaccination programs, which were strong contributors to GDP earlier in the year,” while “manufacturing declined significantly due to ongoing supply chain disruptions” . . Gross domestic product was 1.5 percent above pre-pandemic levels, Morgan said.
The disappointing numbers set the stage for a possible fall in production later in the year, warned Capital Economics, a consulting firm. “The news that the economy barely grew in February…raises the risk of a contraction in GDP in the coming months as pressure on real household incomes mounts.”
British Chancellor Rishi Sunak responded cautiously, saying in a media statement that while the “positive growth” was “welcome,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, which began on February 24, was a cause for further concern.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is creating additional economic uncertainty here in the UK, but it is right that we are responding vigorously to Putin’s unprovoked invasion,” Sunak said.
https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-economy-flat-in-february-despite-travel-easing/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication UK economy flattened out in February despite travel easing - POLITICO