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UK economy extends recovery from COVID crash, grows by 6.6% in July

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Britain’s economy grew for a third month in a row as the country tried to recover from its coronavirus lockdown crash, official data showed on Friday.

Output expanded by 6.6% in July from June, helped by the further lifting of restrictions in sectors such as pubs, bars and restaurants.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected growth of 6.7% in July.

However, the economy remained 11.7% smaller than its level in February, before the pandemic hit Britain.

“While it has continued steadily on the path towards recovery, the UK economy still has to make up nearly half of the GDP lost since the start of the pandemic,” ONS statistician Darren Morgan said.

The pound fell against the dollar as the data showed output in the dominant services sector was a bit weaker than expected, growing by 6.1% in July against expectations for growth of 7.0%.

Growth in the much smaller manufacturing and construction sectors exceeded forecasts.

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