Britain appears to be on course to enjoy a record-breaking economic recovery in the third quarter, fuelled by consumers who are spending again after the coronavirus lockdown and a planned reopening of schools.
Although the UK economy has been hit hard during the pandemic — it recorded the sharpest fall in gross domestic product in the second quarter compared with the last three months of 2019 of any G7 nation — new data on spending suggest many Britons are splashing the cash once more.
Total consumer spending — including leisure — during the first two weeks of August exceeded the same period one year earlier, according to figures from Fable Data, a consultancy. This is the first time there has been annual growth in spending since the lockdown was introduced in March.
A new average of forecasts by City of London economists suggests that GDP is set to rise 14.3 per cent in the third quarter, reversing 55 per cent of the 20.4 per cent drop in output in the three months to June 30.
The predicted GDP growth for the three months to September 30 would be a record, with economists’ forecasts showing the UK likely to move from the bottom of the G7 performance table in the second quarter to the top in the third.
But the trajectory of the economy after this bounce is much more…