UK economy improved in February despite lockdown measures
The UK economy rebounded slightly in February amid the third lockdown but was still almost 8% lower than before the pandemic, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4%, representing an improvement from a 2.2% decline in January, which itself had been revised upwards from a previously predicted 2.9% fall.
Nevertheless, the February reading was slightly below the forecasts of some analysts, with experts at Investec predicting a 0.7% improvement for the month.
An ONS spokeswoman said: “The economy showed some improvement in February after the large falls seen at the start of the year but remains around 8% below its pre-pandemic level.
“Wholesalers and retailers both saw sales pick up a little, while manufacturing improved with car producers experiencing a partial recovery from a poor January.
“Construction grew strongly after revised figures showed they had struggled in the last couple of months.
“Exports to the EU recovered significantly from their January fall, though still remain below 2020 levels.
“However, imports from the EU are yet to significantly rebound, with a number of issues hampering trade.”