Pubs and restaurants help economy grow by 6% in July

Britain’s economy grew 6 per cent in July, figures this week are expected to show. 

Growth figures due out on Friday are likely to confirm the economy’s rollercoaster ride this year – with a violent swing into and out of a deep slump.

The 6 per cent rise in gross domestic product (GDP) for July, compared with June, would be extraordinary in normal times. But it is still lower than the 8.7 per cent expansion in June, as pent-up demand flooded the economy.

July's figures will be bolstered by the re-opening of pubs and other services from July 4

July's figures will be bolstered by the re-opening of pubs and other services from July 4

July’s figures will be bolstered by the re-opening of pubs and other services from July 4

July’s figures will be bolstered by the re-opening of pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and other services from July 4.

In a parallel development that would have been remarkable a year ago, Friday is also expected to see another trade surplus for the UK in July, on top of a surplus of £2.4billion in June, reflecting far lower demand for imports during the crisis. 

If the trend continues, the annual trade figure could be in surplus for the first time since 1984.

The Item Club, the forecasting group sponsored by accountant EY that uses the Treasury’s computer model of the economy, expects economic growth to have continued in August thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and the trend towards staycations.

But chief economist Howard Archer warned: ‘The big question mark is what happens in the fourth quarter. There is only so much pent-up demand and with the furlough scheme coming to an end we can expect job cuts, the scale of which is a big unknown.’

Overall, Item reckons the economy will end the year 10 per cent smaller than when the year began.

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