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UK economy grew in July but BCC says more support is needed for business

The UK economy grew by 6.6% in July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the third month in a row it has expanded, but output remains far below pre-pandemic levels, with just over half of the lost output pre-COVID-19 recovered.

The UK’s economy is still 11.7% smaller than it was in February and growth in July was smaller than the 8.7% expansion seen in June.

Commenting on GDP figures for July 2020, British Chambers of Commerce Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said:  “The latest data confirms that UK economic activity continued to pick-up in July as lockdown restrictions eased further.  

“The UK economy is currently in a period of temporary calm, with activity buoyed by the Government’s emergency support measures and the unwinding of pent-up customer demand as more parts of the economy reopened.  

“However, with many firms continuing to face an unprecedented cash crisis and unemployment likely to surge as the support schemes wind down, there remains little prospect of a sustained resurgence unless substantial action is taken.   

“To protect jobs and livelihoods, the Government should consider extending and adapting the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to ensure businesses are supported sustainably over a longer period, as well as introducing a more significant package of support for firms placed under local restrictions.” 

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