Britain’s economy rebounded in August despite ongoing supply chain woes, as people socialised more due to the lifting of coronavirus curbs, data showed yesterday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.4 per cent in the first full month since England’s lifting of COVID restrictions, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

Construction also fell for the second month in a row, as supply issues created shortages of key materials.

The UK economy remains 0.8 per cent smaller than its pre-coronavirus level.

All lockdown restrictions in England were lifted on July 19, allowing people to visit shops and hospitality venues without having to wear masks.

Yet the ONS also revealed the economy shrank 0.1 per cent in July, revising down an initial estimate of 0.1 per cent growth. That marked the first contraction since January, when stricter lockdown curbs weighed on activity.

July was hit by downwardly revised data for the automobile and energy sectors, and improvements to how health output is measured. Car manufacturing was plagued by an ongoing global shortage of microchips.

Britain’s economy had rebounded by 5.5 per cent in the second quarter, or three months to June.

But the outlook remains clouded by ongoing Brexit and pandemic fallout and supply chain bottlenecks.

Activity has in addition been hit by shortages of lorry drivers, semiconductors and motor fuel, as well as surging oil and gas prices that have sparked elevated inflation.

The outlook also darkened after the government ended its furlough jobs support scheme and cut back Universal Credit welfare support. The Bank of England has forecast UK inflation will this year top four per cent on soaring energy costs.

Natural gas prices recently soared to record heights, sparking fears of rocketing domestic fuel bills during the peak-demand winter months.

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