politics

Economy grew in February despite lockdown fuelling hopes high streets will enjoy a bumper summer


BRITAIN’S economy grew in February despite lockdown — fuelling hopes high streets will enjoy a bumper summer.

And trade with the EU delivered a “remarkable” bounce back even though there were problems with the new Brexit border checks.

Britain's economy grew in February despite the national lockdown which has fuelled hopes that high streets could enjoy a bumper summer

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Britain’s economy grew in February despite the national lockdown which has fuelled hopes that high streets could enjoy a bumper summerCredit: Rex

UK goods sent to the bloc jumped 46.6 per cent from January to £11.6billion, the Office for National Statistics says.

And even though shops, pubs and restaurants were shut during February, the nation’s GDP rebounded by 0.4 per cent.

But the positive news is tempered by the fact it is still almost eight per cent smaller than before the pandemic.

HSBC economist Liz Martins said: “We couldn’t expect much of a recovery from the service sector… we saw growth in the other areas like construction and manufacturing.”

She added: “The hope and expectation is a lot of pent up demand will come flooding out.”

The boost in EU exports was driven by machinery, transport equipment and chemicals.

It comes as trade with the EU bounced back despite issues with the new Brexit border checks

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It comes as trade with the EU bounced back despite issues with the new Brexit border checksCredit: AFP
The nation’s GDP rebounded by 0.4 per cent despite shops, pubs and restaurants being shut

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The nation’s GDP rebounded by 0.4 per cent despite shops, pubs and restaurants being shutCredit: SWNS
HSBC economist Liz Martins said February's EU exports were a 'remarkable improvement'

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HSBC economist Liz Martins said February’s EU exports were a ‘remarkable improvement’

February’s EU exports were still 11 per cent below the same month last year, a sign of continued border friction.

But Ms Martins said it was a “remarkable improvement”.

EU imports also rebounded, although less sharply.

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