The UK’s economic performance during Covid was stronger than previously stated, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Incredibly, by the end of 2021 the UK’s economy hadn’t shrunk by 1.2 percent as previously recorded, but instead grew but 0.6 percent.
This discovery obliterates the idea that the UK was unable to bounce back from Covid. Up until now experts have believed this made the UK an outlier among the G7.
Unless there is a significant revision of 2022 and 2023 data, the ONS’s findings also mean that the UK economy is now far bigger than at pre-Covid levels, rathern than 0.2 percent smaller.
Growth since 2021 has now been revised up to 8.7 percent and the contraction during 2020 was not as sharp as economists initially thought, with the economy shrinking by 10.4 percent rather than 11 percent.
The ONS said: “These revisions are mainly because we have richer data from our annual surveys and administrative data, we are now able to measure costs incurred by businesses directly and we can adjust for prices at a far more detailed level.”
Simon French, chief economist at investment bank Panure Gordon, took to X, formely Twitter, to write that “the entire UK economic narrative – post pandemic – has just been revised away”.
Mr French, who used to work in the Cabinet Office, branded the revision “extraordinary”.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt came out swinging following the bombshell news, taking aim at doomsters intent on belittling Britain.
He said: “There are many battles still to win, most of all against inflation so we can ease cost of living pressures of families. But if we stick to the plan we can look forward to healthy growth which according to the IMF will be faster than Germany, France, and Italy in the long term.”
If the upward trend in the British economy is carried over to the latest data, then the UK will be ahead of Germany’s Covid recovery and closing in on France and Italy.