British economy grew 7.5% in 2021 at fastest rate since World War II

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Feb. 11 (UPI) — The British economy saw a historic rebound in 2021 from the COVID-19-led recession, although growth slowed toward the end of the year due to a surge in Omicron-driven cases, government figures showed on Friday.

The Office for National Statistics said the economy grew by 7.5% over the course of last year following a 9.4% decline in 2020 — the highest annual growth since World War II.

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“In output terms, the largest contributors to this quarterly increase were from human health and social work activities driven by increased [doctor] visits at the start of the quarter, and a large increase in coronavirus testing and tracing activities and the extension of the vaccination program,” the ONS said.

Britain saw one of the world’s largest economic contractions over the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, but ultimately performed better than expected in recent months.

After a 0.7% increase in November, British output fell by 0.2% in December as Omicron-driven cases surged and supply chain issues caused product shortages worldwide. Economists predicted a 0.6% decline.

Similarly, the U.S. economy grew by 6% in 2021 and also experienced a similar slowing toward the end of the year due to supply chain problems and a rise in COVID-19 cases.

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