Rishi Sunak says UK economy is 'better' than international peers
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The biggest economies in Europe were brought to a stand still last year, and intermittent lockdown measures have taken their toll. But as the vaccine rollout in the UK accelerates, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said recently that there is “light at the end of the tunnel”. The EU ‘s rollout has been hit with delay, and Chief Economist at Resolution Foundation, Jack Leslie, tells Express.co.uk that the UK economy is set to enjoy a quicker recovery than the eurozone. He said that this recovery will be sharper because of the successful distribution of jabs, but also because the UK economy endured a deeper recession initially.
Mr Leslie said: “I think the starting point is that the UK economy has fared worse over the past year than most of Europe. Countries like Spain Italy and France have also fared pretty badly.
“Most in Europe have had a better crisis, so there’s more scope for the UK to have strong growth in 2021 than Europe, so I would absolutely expect the UK to have stronger growth this year.
“The faster vaccine rollout will be a big deal, it has been a major success and will enable the UK to recover faster as well, but I think ultimately what a lot of the recovery is going to need is globally everyone getting back on their feet, it will be positive for the UK if Europe also has a strong recovery.”
UK economy news: The UK economy suffered a record recession (Image: getty)
UK economy news: Lockdown measures have saved lives, but taken their toll on the economy (Image: getty)
The UK economy suffered a record annual slump in 2020, shrinking by 9.9 percent last year as coronavirus restrictions hit output.
The contraction in 2020 “was more than twice as much as the previous largest annual fall on record”, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Britain's annual economic decline was the worst in the G7.
GDP fell by 3.5 percent in the US, by five percent in Germany, 8.3 percent in France and 8.9 percent in Italy.
The Canadian economy is forecast to have shrunk by five percent, and Japan's by about 5.6 percent.
UK economy news: The eurozone will have a slower recovery (Image: getty)
However, the UK fared better than Spain, where the economy collapsed by 11 percent last year.
Britain also managed to avoid a double-dip recession, something Europe looks set to endure.
Marcel Klok, senior economist at ING, said last month: "With lockdowns extended into the new year, it really feels like it is darkest before dawn in the euro zone. In the first quarter, GDP is all but certain to contract again and the question is now by how much.
"The combination of lockdowns and vaccinations will allow for more substantial reopening of economies over the course of the second quarter. This will then also mark the start of the recovery of the euro zone economy."
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UK economy news: Von der Leyen faces a double dip recession (Image: getty)
UK economy news: Europe has also endured intermittent lockdowns (Image: getty)
The UK and EU have also clashed again over vaccines after European Council President Charles Michel accused the UK of blocking the export of coronavirus vaccines.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab sent a letter to Mr Michel on Tuesday night dismissing suggestions Britain had banned exports of the life saving doses.
He said: “I wanted to set the record straight. The Government has not blocked the export of a single COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine components.
“Any references to a UK export ban or any restrictions on vaccines are completely false.”
Mr Michel had said that Britain and the US “imposed an outright ban on the export of vaccines or vaccine components produced on their territory”.
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