UK economic growth slowed sharply between July and September as supply chain problems hampered Britain’s recovery from the pandemic, official figures have shown.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy expanded by 1.3% between July and September, down from growth of 5.5% in the previous three months.
The ONS said growth picked up in September to a better-than-expected 0.6% but revisions showed the performance was worse than first thought in July and August, with signs the global supply chain issues were taking their toll.
Data showed a 0.2% contraction in July, against the 0.1% fall previously estimated, while August showed growth of 0.2%, against the 0.4% initial reading.
Car sales, in particular, have been hit by a shortage of semi conductor chips, according to the ONS.
The third-quarter result means the economy is now 2.1% below where it was before the pandemic struck.
Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said: “Growth picked up in September and the UK economy is now only slightly below pre-pandemic levels.
“This latest increase was led by the health sector, boosted by more visits to GP surgeries in England.
“Lawyers also had a busy month as house buyers rushed to complete purchases before the end of the stamp duty holiday.
“However, these were partially offset by falls in both the manufacture and sale of cars.
“Notably, business investment remained well down on pre-pandemic levels in the three months to September.”