UK economic growth slowed down in July, growing by 0.1% compared with 1% in June 2021, according to the latest data by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
With the spread of the Delta variant and the “pingdemic” taking its hold in July, gross domestic product (GDP) still remains 2.1% below its pre-pandemic level.
Output in consumer-facing services fell by 0.3% in July 2021, its first fall since January 2021 mainly because of a 2.5% fall in retail sales.
Despite this, the results showed that this was the sixth consecutive month of GDP growth, as Covid-19 restrictions continued to ease to varying degrees in England, Scotland and Wales.
GDP grew by 3.6% in the three months to July 2021, largely because of the performance of the services sector.
This partly reflects the gradual reopening of accommodation and food service activities, the reopening of non-essential stores, and the increase in school attendance compared with the previous three months (February to April 2021).
Meanwhile arts, entertainment and recreation activities grew by 9%, boosted by sports clubs, amusement parks and festivals, and reflecting the easing of restrictions on social distancing from 19 July 2021.