UK economy edges to pre-pandemic levels as lockdown eased

Friday, June 11, 2021 | Pan Pylas, Associated Press


In this Monday, April 12, 2021 file photo, people sit, drinking and eating, outside cafes and pubs in Soho, central London, on the day some of England's coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased by the British government. The easing of lockdown restrictions in April helped the British economy grow at its fastest rate since July 2020 and recoup further ground lost during the coronavirus pandemic, official figures showed Friday June 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, File)

LONDON (AP) — The easing of lockdown restrictions in April helped the British economy grow at its fastest rate since July 2020 and recoup further ground lost during the coronavirus pandemic, official figures showed Friday.

The Office for National Statistics said the economy grew by 2.3% during April, which saw the reopening of shops selling non-essential items and a number of other service providers, such as hairdressers, resuming work. Schools were fully open for in-class learning, while pubs and restaurants were able to serve customers outdoors for the whole month.

The four nations of the U.K. — England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — have been lifting lockdown restrictions in stages after new coronavirus infections fell sharply and vaccines were rolled out rapidly.

Despite the growth recorded in April, the British economy remained 3.7% smaller than it was in February 2020, before the U.K.'s first virus lockdown. Of the major sectors in the economy, only construction was above the level it was at on the eve of the pandemic.

The British economy is expected to regain more ground over the summer as remaining restrictions are lifted.

“Following the historic collapse in spring 2020, the U.K. remains on track to return to its pre-pandemic level by the turn of the year,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank. “Judging by recent data trends, that could happen even sooner.”

Though most sectors of the economy have reopened, there are concerns that the next planned easing for England, scheduled for later this month, may have to be delayed because of a recent spike in new infections largely due to the delta variant that was first identified in India.

The hope is that the rapid rollout of vaccines will dramatically break the link between new infections, hospitalizations and deaths. So far, the evidence suggests that a large proportion of the people being infected are in younger age groups, many of which have yet to receive a first dose.

Under the government's plan for ending lockdown measures, social distancing restrictions are set to be lifted on June 21, which would be a particular boon to businesses such as pubs and cinemas. They are currently operating with capacity limits to meet the need to keep people apart.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to announce Monday whether the next easing will take place.

___

Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at:

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

Featured Article: What is Call Option Volume?


7 Stocks to Support Your New Year’s Resolutions

After a year like 2020, many Americans figure that just getting to 2021 was enough. But for many people, the start of a new year still means making resolutions. And while many Americans are still waking up to Groundhog’s Day, there is hope that things will look dramatically different in September than they do right now.

Some of the most popular resolutions include losing weight, exercising more, or taking steps to get our life and/or business more organized. And many pure-play companies lean into these trends and are doing well.

As an alternative to this, you can also invest in companies that are not pure plays but can still benefit from consumers looking to start fresh. Owning these stocks helps you manage your risk. If the trend holds, you can ride the wave. On the other hand, if the wave turns into a ripple, the stocks have other catalysts to get them through.

In this special presentation, we’ll take a look at both of these categories. We’ve got several pure-play companies that let investors buy stocks in companies benefiting from these trends. We’ll also give you a few stocks that fall in the latter category.

These are stocks that you might buy at any time and for many reasons. However, they present excellent buys as the new year begins.

View the "7 Stocks to Support Your New Year’s Resolutions".


MarketBeat - Stock Market News and Research Tools logo

MarketBeat empowers individual investors to make better trading decisions by providing real-time financial data and objective market analysis. Whether you’re looking for analyst ratings, corporate buybacks, dividends, earnings, economic reports, financials, insider trades, IPOs, SEC filings or stock splits, MarketBeat has the objective information you need to analyze any stock. Learn more about MarketBeat.

MarketBeat is accredited by the Better Business Bureau

© American Consumer News, LLC dba MarketBeat® 2010-2021. All rights reserved.
326 E 8th St #105, Sioux Falls, SD 57103 | U.S. Based Support Team at [email protected] | (844) 978-6257
MarketBeat does not provide personalized financial advice and does not issue recommendations or offers to buy stock or sell any security.

Our Accessibility Statement | Terms of Service | Do Not Sell My Information

© 2021 Market data provided is at least 10-minutes delayed and hosted by Barchart Solutions. Information is provided 'as-is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice, and is delayed. To see all exchange delays and terms of use please see disclaimer. Fundamental company data provided by Zacks Investment Research.