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East Midlands Chamber News

Economic growth continues but ‘pingdemic’ put the brakes on in July, says East Midlands Chamber

Commenting on the latest ONS statistics showing UK GDP grew by 0.1% in July, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “July marked the sixth consecutive month of growth as almost all lockdown restrictions were lifted following the delay in implementing the fourth stage of the Government’s roadmap.

“Much of this was driven by the continued recovery of industries including hospitality and retail after their reopening in previous months, as well as the return to others forced to close during lockdown such as arts, entertainment and recreation activities.

“This period also coincided with popular events such as the postponed Euro 2020 tournament, which provided a much-needed tonic for businesses.

“Our Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 2021 showed confidence was high, with a net 41% of businesses predicting an increase in profitability during the third quarter.

“However, it’s slightly concerning that growth has slowed from 1% in June to 0.1% in July, which may well be a result of the ‘pingdemic’ effects, in which many businesses lost staff and customers to self-isolation – forcing some to close at crucial points.

“The change in self-isolation rules in mid-August will hopefully lead to stronger growth in the coming months. But with economic output remaining 2.1% below pre-pandemic levels, it’s vital there is no complacency from Government – and ongoing issues such as international travel restrictions and labour shortages, most pertinently among HGV drivers, continue to seriously hamper businesses.”