The British economy is growing at its fastest pace in 80 years and could recover its pre-pandemic size by the end of this year, according to a leading economic forecaster.
Buoyed by the vaccine rollout and a bounce back in consumer spending, the EY Item Club said it now expected GDP to grow by 7.6% – which would be the fastest annual growth in national income since 1941. The UK economy shrank by 9.8% in 2020, the worst performance in the G7.
The optimism comes despite the chaos caused by widespread staff shortages as workers self-isolate en masse after being pinged by NHS test and trace. The “pingdemic” is affecting the running of shops, restaurants, factories and even railway services as bosses struggle to find staff to cover shifts.
Although the economy has proved increasingly resilient through lockdowns, the EY Item Club report came with the health warning that the “future pattern of the pandemic and any renewed pandemic-related restrictions…