UK economy returns to growth in February
The economy grew 0.4% following a 2.2% decline in January, and versus expectations of 0.6% growth.
Still, GDP remained 7.8% below the levels seen in February 2020 - before the pandemic hit - compared with 3.1% below the initial recovery peak in October 2020.
An ONS spokesperson said: "The economy showed some improvement in February after the large falls seen at the start of the year but remains around 8% below its pre-pandemic level.
"Wholesalers and retailers both saw sales pick up a little, while manufacturing improved with car producers experiencing a partial recovery from a poor January.
"Construction grew strongly after revised figures showed they had struggled in the last couple of months.
"Exports to the EU recovered significantly from their January fall, though still remain below 2020 levels. However, imports from the EU are yet to significantly rebound, with a number of issues hampering trade." ■