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The UK economy recorded 15% growth in Q3 as lockdown restrictions were eased through the summer, but any real recovery has slowed and this slow down is led by the Covid-19 impact on hospitality.

Data from the ONS shows that national output expanded by just 1.1% in September, the third month of Q3 prior to the regional and now national lockdowns being introduced.

The ONS data did show the UK economy expanding for five consecutive months, most recently that momentum of recovery had decelerated. Record growth in Q3 followed a record drop of 19.8% in Q2 and a 2.5% drop in Q1.

The services sector, that includes hospitality has sustained the worst impact and is now 8.8% lower than it was before the first lockdown in March was imposed.

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak was somewhat optimistic in his reflections saying: “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. My economic priority continues to be jobs – that’s why we extended furlough through to March and I welcome the news today that nearly 20,000 new roles for young people have been created through our Kickstart scheme.

“There are still hard times ahead, but we will continue to support people through this and ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity.”

There is no doubt that the government’s economic aid to hospitality businesses to date has been significant. But, to avoid further business failures and unemployment figures unseen in a generation, more intervention is needed, and very soon.

Source: Hospitality & Catering News

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