Brexit LIVE: UK economy surges 4.8% and FOUR-TIMES faster than France – Sunak given boost

Boris Johnson outlines plans to hit net zero

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The UK economy grew by 4.8 percent in the second quarter of 2021 as lockdowns lifted, getting people back into pubs, the Office for National Statistics figures showed. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased by a further one percent in June, creating five consecutive months of growth.

The economy also speeded up from 0.6 percent growth in May, the ONS said.

Lockdown restrictions slowly eased through much of the quarter.

Outdoor dining opened again in April, the first month the quarterly data includes, and further restrictions were lifted in May.

ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said: “GDP is still around two percentage points below its pre-pandemic peak.”

Economists at Pantheon Macroeconomics had expected GDP to grow by 0.6 percent in June, and 4.7 percent across the quarter.

The news will come as a major boost to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, with 75 percent of Britons now fully jabbed.

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On Tuesday Johnson tweeted: “Our incredible vaccine rollout has now provided protection to 3/4 of UK adults.

“We should be proud of this huge national achievement.

“It’s vital those who haven’t been vaccinated book their jab to protect themselves, their loved ones and allow us to enjoy our freedoms safely.”

Sam Fuller, Director of Financial Markets Online, commented: “The pace of the UK’s vaccination programme – which has successfully delivered two Covid jabs into the arms of 75% of the adult population – is an important factor and may explain why UK growth has soared to treble that of Germany and four times that of its European neighbour France.”

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8.02am update: ‘Brexit success from day one!’ Lord Moylan hails visa free travel for musicians around EU

Lord Moylan has hailed the success of Brexit and pointed to visa free travel for musicians to 19 EU countries as one of the many positive outcomes.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) recently announced that UK musicians will be able to tour in 19 EU countries without a visa.

A statement from the DCMS said: “We want the UK’s fantastic performers and other creative professionals to be able to tour abroad easily.

“We are now actively engaging with the remaining member states that do not allow visa and permit free touring.”

The peer said: “Brexit was a success from day one, because it returned our democracy to us and allowed us to take back control of our own affairs.

“It’s heartening that an increasing number of EU countries have now reached agreement on allowing British musicians to tour.”

7.59am update: “Zero to hero in an hour”

Also commenting, Sam Fuller, Director of Financial Markets Online, wrote:“Large swathes of the UK economy went from zero to hero in the space of just one quarter.

“The contrast between the locked-down first three months of the year with the second quarter was widely predicted but is no less remarkable for that.

He added: “Crucially the growth came throughout the quarter, with all three months recording a jump in GDP as pandemic restrictions eased and more sectors of the economy came back online.

“Most reassuring of all is the pre-eminent role of British consumers in the recovery. While the UK government spent vast sums propping up the economy during the darkest days of the pandemic, the second quarter’s growth was broad-based and largely demand-led, with real household expenditure jumping an impressive 7.3 percent.”

7.40am update: “Considerable demand to invest”

Commenting on quarter on quarter GDP rising 4.8%, Ian Warwick, Managing Partner at Deepbridge Capital, said: “Although expected with the economy reopening, today’s GDP data is the latest sign of positive growth for the economy.

“As we continue to focus on economic recovery, it remains critically important that scale-up businesses, particularly in high-growth sectors such as digital technologies and life sciences are supported; as they will be at the very heart of economic growth as we create an economy fit for the twenty-first century.

“Government initiatives such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) have never been more important for helping entrepreneurs and innovators source the funding they require, whilst also offering private investors with tax incentives to develop UK-supporting private equity portfolios.

“With our EIS funds reaching record levels of funding in 2020/21 it is evident that there is considerable demand from investors and financial advisers alike to invest in early-stage UK companies which we believe will be at the forefront of our economic recovery.”

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