The UK economy soared by record levels in 2021 as gross product (GDP) grew by 7.5%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.
The ONS reported a 1% increase in economy growth in the final three months of the year, despite the Omicron variant on the rise.
The figure, which exceeded the Bank of England’s expectations, was the fastest since ONS records began in 1948, following 2020’s figure of -9.4%.
As a result of government restrictions, the economy contracted by 0.2% in December as the hospitality and leisure sector. However, the economy remained at pre-pandemic levels from February 2020.
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said that despite GDP figures in December was in line with levels from February 2020, the fourth quarter, as a whole, was “slightly below” the same period in 2019”.
“However, these were partially offset by increases in the Test and Trace service and vaccination programmes.
“Despite December’s setback, GDP grew robustly across the fourth quarter as a whole, with the NHS, couriers and employment agencies all helping to support the economy.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak added: “Thanks to our £400 billion package of support and making the right calls at the right time, the economy has been remarkably resilient; with the UK seeing the fastest growth in the G7 last year and GDP remaining at pre-pandemic levels in December.
“I’m proud of the resolve the whole country has demonstrated, and proud of our incredible vaccine programme which has allowed the economy to stay open.
“We’re continuing to help the economy rebuild through our Plan for Jobs, boost for business investment and support for households with the cost of living.”