UK economic growth hampered by supply chain issues

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LONDON (AP) – The UK economy slowed in the third quarter of the year as widespread supply chain problems hampered recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, official figures showed on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics said the economy grew 1.3% between July and September from the previous three months, with the healthcare sector and housing market particularly vibrant. The increase was slightly below market expectations and lower than the 5.5% increase in the second quarter.

The third quarter result means the UK economy remains 2.1% below what it was before the March 2020 pandemic. Last week the Bank of England said the economy would not recover. production lost during the pandemic before the first part of the next. year after predicting a recovery by the end of the year.

Over the summer, Britain witnessed a series of supply chain problems linked to disruptions caused by the pandemic and Britain’s departure from the European Union. This was evident in the recent long lines seen at gas stations amid a shortage of truck drivers.

The statistics agency said car sales, in particular, have been hit by a shortage of computer chips, while construction projects have been delayed due to difficulties in sourcing materials.

Debapratim De, senior economist at Deloitte, said that “weak consumer services, despite minimal social distancing restrictions over the summer, and a contraction in industrial production, underscore that parts of the economy continued to be affected by the shortage of labor and raw materials. materials.”

The Bank of England refrained from raising interest rates last week despite inflation above its target. The majority of policymakers said they wanted to see how the job market held up after a government program that subsidized wages during the pandemic ended before raising the bank’s benchmark rate from the lowest. record 0.1%.

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