Jonathan Gillham, chief economist at PwC, comments on today's GDP data:
"The economy grew by 15.3% in the third quarter, which on the surface appears impressive. However, the underlying monthly data shows a significant slowdown in the pace of the recovery in August and September. Around two thirds of the lost output caused by the first national lockdown has been clawed back, but as of September, the economy was still 8.2% below pre-Covid levels, with more than 80% of the recovery occurring in June and July.
"With retail growth flat in September and accommodation and food service sectors contracting by -0.23%, there will be significant pressure on these sectors to put in a strong performance in the run-up to Christmas. The question is - will consumers be willing to part with their cash when they are facing so much economic uncertainty?
"However, despite growth slowing in the Autumn, there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic - recent announcements around the discovery of the vaccine and extension of the furlough scheme offer hope for the fourth quarter and confidence levels in 2021."
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