The UK economy grew in January as Omicron weakened

Official figures show that UK economic growth returns to January as the effects of the Omicron coronavirus variant begin to ease.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the economy grew 0.8% compared to a 0.2% decline in December.

But despite a return in January, economists warned that the UK could face a recession due to economic shocks, including a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it was creating economic uncertainty.

Wholesalers, retailers, restaurants and takeaways have all performed well, according to official figures.

As supply chain problems continue to erode in some sectors, both construction and manufacturing have increased, ONS added.

Computer programming and film and TV production also got off to a good start this year, says Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics.

“GDP bounced back from hitting in December due to the Omicron wave and is now 0.8% above the pre-epidemic peak,” he said.

“All sectors are performing well now with some industries that grew in January which were particularly hit in December.”

What is GDP and how does it affect me?
Despite the rebound, Chancellor Sage Sunak was wary of the potential of the UK economy.

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, UK households were already facing sharply rising costs, in part due to rising energy costs.

Mr Sunak said Russia’s aggression was “creating significant economic uncertainty”, but “it is vital that we stand by the people of Ukraine to uphold the shared values ​​of our independence and democracy and ensure Putin’s failure.”

He added that the government has provided “unprecedented assistance” across the Kovid epidemic, “which has put our economy in a strong position to meet the challenges of the current life.”

Depression warning

Despite stronger-than-expected growth in January, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) warned that there was a risk that the UK could go into recession.

Suren Thiru, head of economics at BCC, said: “Although there was a strong rebound in output in January as Omicron’s influence began to wane, the figures were pushed back into the rear-view mirror with a new domestic and global push. Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“Despite the prospect of an increase in output in February from the end of the Plan B coveted restrictions, rising inflation, rising energy bills and higher taxes could push the UK economy to a standstill.”

He said Ukraine’s invasion had increased the risk of a UK recession because it was exacerbating the crisis of life and “derailing the supply of important commodities in many sectors of the economy”.

Kitty Usher, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, says the key question facing the UK economy is whether people who have enough cash will be able to choose how they can afford to spend some of it. Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya.

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