The UK economy expanded the most on record in the third quarter, a rebound that’s since been undermined by an increase in virus cases and new restrictions on businesses.
Growth surged 15.5% in the three months through September, as the economy bounced back from an almost 20% contraction.
Still, data shows the recovery was already losing momentum by the end of the period, with September seeing just a 1.1% expansion, the worst result since April.
Treasury chief Rishi Sunak acknowledged that the health measures taken in the past few weeks will have slowed down growth.
But he sounded a positive note, saying there were reasons to be “cautiously optimistic” with improvements in mass testing and the potential for a vaccine.
He added “and we’re seeing today very welcome news of the creation of 20,000 job placements for young people on the kick start scheme just demonstrating that although there are hard times that no one should be left without hope or opportunity.”
Analysts are worried the economy will shrink again over the winter months after the resurgence of the virus led to fresh curbs on everyday life across the UK and amid uncertainty around whether a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union will be reached.