Commenting on ONS data that shows GDP rising by 0.1% in October 2021 to 0.5% below its pre-pandemic level, Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Economic growth would have fallen in October if it were not for the return of face-to-face appointments in the NHS and the ramping up of vaccination activity, both of which had a noticeable positive impact on the service sector.
“Underneath this, manufacturing output was flat, with evidence coming through that while demand remains strong, production is being hampered by difficulties sourcing supplies.
“Meanwhile consumers, who had enjoyed the opening of hospitality venues in the late summer, in October switched back to shopping – and booking holidays.
“Looking forwards, we expect a strong showing for the retail sector over Christmas, but hampered by concerns over travel and hospitality as we get to grips with the implications of the Omicron variant on consumer demand.”