UK economy grew more than expected in March

Britain’s economy grew more than expected in March, signaling that economic recovery from strong contraction in 2020 caused by coronavirus pandemic, is accelerating and on course for projected sharp bounce-back this year.

Britain’s gross domestic product rose by 2.1% in March, compared to 0.4% growth in February and well above expected 1.3% expansion.

The economy contracted by 1.5% at the start of 2021, when the country was under a third lockdown, with easing of restrictions reviving economic activity and signaling that the country began to emerge from its winter coronavirus shutdown.

But the 1.5% contraction in the first months of this year was well below expected 4% drop, suggesting that the UK economy has become more resilient to restrictive measures, compared to the same period last year.

The growth in March was led by retail sector, construction and the reopening of schools, with strong data sending promising signs for the economic growth, despite a difficult start of the year.

Britain’s dominant services industry grew by 1.9% in March, making the strongest expansion since August 2020, while manufacturing and construction sectors also grew more than expected, adding to signs of accelerating economic recovery.

The Bank of England said it expected Britain’s economy to quickly recover after COVID restrictions are lifted and to grow by 7.5% in 2021 that would be the fastest growth since a Second World War, after the economy collapsed by 9.8% in 2020, in its deepest fall in over three centuries, with the economy remaining 8.7% smaller than at the end of 2019 but expected to return to its pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021 / early 2022.