London: Official data shows that the UK’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crash is faster than previously thought. The data also shows that government borrowing has surged to cover the coronavirus crisis.
Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a record 16.0% in the third quarter, higher than the 15.5% previously estimated, but it still failed to make up for the 18.8% decline in the closure of most of the economy from April to June. .
The National Bureau of Statistics also stated that the UK borrowed a record 241 billion pounds ($323 billion) in the first eight months of this fiscal year, an increase of nearly 190 billion pounds over the same period last year.
The country’s budget forecasters believe that the deficit will reach nearly 400 billion pounds in 2020/21, which is close to 20% of GDP or twice the impact of the global financial crisis.
Public debt stood at almost 2.1 trillion pounds or 99.5% of annual economic output, the highest debt-to-GDP ratio since 1962, the ONS said.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak reiterated his pledge to tackle the huge shortfall, but not immediately.
“When our economy recovers, it’s right that we take the necessary steps to put the public finances on a more sustainable footing so we are able to respond to future crises in the way we have done this year,” he said in a statement.