Economy fully recovered from Covid recession

Economy fully recovered from coronavirus recession after ‘very punchy’ fightback, according to Bank of England’s Andy Haldane

The economy has fully recovered from the coronavirus recession after a ‘very punchy’ fightback, according to Andy Haldane. 

The Bank of England’s outgoing chief economist said the recovery was ‘going great guns’ as vaccines are rolled out and Covid restrictions are lifted. 

He said that output was back to pre-crisis levels having crashed by more than 20 per cent in the first half of last year in what was the worst recession to hit the country for 300 years. 

Confident: Andy Haldane said the recovery was ‘going great guns’ as vaccines are rolled out and Covid restrictions are lifted

A survey by business lobby group, the CBI, found retailers are benefiting from booming demand as shoppers go out and spend.

Speaking on a Money Week podcast ahead of his departure from the Bank next week, Haldane said: ‘We have GDP data now to April and I think in May we’ll see a further significant leg up, due to the loosening of restrictions. That will mean as of now, I reckon we’ve pretty much made up all of the GDP lost ground from last year, and we’re back roughly to around pre-Covid levels on the back of what is a really very punchy recovery.’ 

Haldane has also sounded the alarm over rising inflation as the economy recovers. And in a further sign the economy is bouncing back, the CBI said retail sales in June were above usual levels to the greatest extent for more than four years. 

CBI economist Ben Jones said: ‘After a generally gloomy 2021 so far, the sun finally shone for retailers in June. 

‘This was the latest sign that the success of the vaccination programme is feeding through to stronger consumer confidence which, along with the reopening of hospitality, is encouraging shoppers back onto the High Street.

‘But the sector remains a long way from a full recovery. 

‘Even as consumer demand returns, the legacy of lockdowns on retailers’ balance sheets remains. Many will welcome the rent moratorium extension, but more support is needed.’

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