Commenting on ONS data that shows GDP rising by 0.6% in September 2021 to 0.6% below its pre-pandemic level, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“On the surface, September felt very different to the summer months with a plummeting of consumer confidence, petrol panic buying and growing realisation of the extent of staff and supply shortages. This is reflected in today’s data, which shows a 13% fall in the retail and wholesale trade category, plus a rise in automotive fuel sales that the ONS suggests is a ‘bringing forward’ of consumer spending that would have otherwise taken place in October.
“Yet underneath, economic growth was being steadily driven by the continued reopening of the public sector with GP surgeries resuming face-to-face appointments and schools reopening without many of their previous restrictions.
“Today’s data is a little stronger than was expected, but with corresponding downward revisions to monthly GDP for July and August this is unlikely to affect the growth forecasts for the end of the year.”