The UK economy is recovering from the pandemic. Friday’s figures should show that real GDP rose in May as the lockdown was partially lifted, to its highest level since just before the pandemic.
This would, however, still leave output around 2 per cent below its peak, reached in October 2019. And there are doubts about how fast it will grow from here. Purchasing managers’ surveys on Monday, for example, are likely to confirm the flash surveys which showed that while the services sector grew strongly in June, the growth rate did not accelerate.
One concern here is consumer spending. Retail sales fell back in May. Friday’s figures will tell us whether this was because we spent our money in pubs and restaurants instead. If there isn’t a strong bounce, it could be evidence that the post-pandemic recovery in spending will be weaker than hoped as we have instead fallen into more frugal habits.