Europe

Services sector bounces back to pre-pandemic levels despite economic growth slowdown

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While the overall rate of economic growth slowed down in October, the allimportant services sector is now the same as it was in February 2020 just before the Covid lockdown.

But consumer-facing services, such as restaurants, are still 5.2 per cent below their pre-pandemic levels. All other services are 1.4 per cent ahead.

The news came as the Office for National Statistics revealed that gross domestic product, a key measure of the economy, rose by 0.1 per cent in October. It is a slowdown since September when the economy grew by 0.6 per cent.

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And it raises fears for what might happen as the Omicron variant puts a dampener on recovery hopes.

Mr Rishi said: “We have always acknowledged there could be bumps on our road to recovery, but the early actions we have taken, our ongoing £400billion economic support package and our vaccine programme mean we are well placed to keep our economy on track.”

ONS data shows production output down 0.6 per cent in October, with gas and electricity down 2.9 per cent, and mining and quarrying down five per cent. Secondhand car sales and employment agencies provided a boost.

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