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GDP grew by 4.1% in September-November 2020 compared to the previous three-month period (June-August), but fell by 2.6% in November 2020 compared to October. November GDP was 8.5% below the pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020.

The services sector was the main driver of the fall in November. This sector fell by 3.4% as restrictions on activity were reintroduced. Production also fell marginally by 0.1%. Output in both of these sectors remain lower than in February, by 9.9% in services and 4.7% in production. The construction sector grew by 1.9% in November, and has recovered to 0.6% above the February level.

GDP grew by 16.0% in the latest calendar quarter (July-September 2020) compared to the previous quarter (April-June). The previous quarter saw the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record (-18.8%).

In cash terms, GDP was £2,218 billion in 2019.

Forecasts

In their November Economic and fiscal outlook, the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) central economy forecast was -11.8% in 2020 and 5.2% in 2021.

The Treasury’s December 2020 survey of independent forecasts showed an average forecast of -11.1% for 2020 and 5.4% for 2021.


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