- UK Economic Outlook Summer 2021: Emerging from the Shadow of Covid-19
In our Summer forecast for the UK economy GDP grows by 6.8 per cent in 2021, an upward revision of 1.1 percentage points since May’s Spring Outlook, and 5.3 per cent in 2022. The latest data suggest that ？ while headline growth and business optimism are strong ？ the recovery is not yet broad-based, being principally driven by the re-opening of a few sectors. Output is expected to return to its pre-Covid level in the first quarter of 2022. This reflects our main case forecast assumption that remaining domestic restrictions imposed by governments and businesses will be lifted over the course of the third quarter, with restrictions on international travel likely to persist for longer. The potential of further outbreaks of Covid-19 leading to either another national lockdown or persistent voluntary social distancing constitutes the largest downside risk. We forecast the construction sector to bounce back from 2020’s fall strongly this year with growth of 14 per cent. This and the rise of 9 per cent in private non-traded services provide the majority of 2021’s growth. Manufacturing and private traded services, less badly affected in 2020, are forecast to grow by 6 and 5 per cent respectively this year. J We forecast CPI inflation to rise to 3.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2021, peaking at 3.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 but then falling again to settle around 2 per cent in 2023. This forecast is conditional on policy rate starting to be normalised in the last quarter of next year in line with market expectations, and inflation expectations remaining well anchored.