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UK economy bigger than before pandemic, before Omicron hit growth – business live
















The global surge in demand for energy could spark another three years of market volatility and record power plant pollution unless countries make major changes to how they generate electricity, the world’s energy watchdog has warned.

The International Energy Agency recorded the steepest ever increase in electricity demand last year, which triggered blackouts in major economies and led to historic energy price highs and record emissions.

The IEA’s annual electricity report said this could continue for another three years, with serious consequences for consumers and economies unless there is a faster structural change to the way electricity is produced.

The IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, said:


“Sharp spikes in electricity prices in recent times have been causing hardship for many households and businesses around the world and risk becoming a driver of social and political tensions,”





























Full story: UK economy back to pre-pandemic levels in November

The UK economy surpassed its pre-pandemic level for the first time in November after growing by 0.9% over the month, partly driven by an unexpected surge in early Christmas shopping.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said a jump in restaurant bookings and a rapid turnaround in construction output were also behind the growth that took the size of the economy 0.7% above its level before March 2020.

City economists had expected an expansion of only 0.4% and warned that November was likely to prove a high point in 2020, with the figures collected by the ONS coming shortly before the Omicron variant took hold, exacerbating worker shortages as thousands were off sick, and forcing the government to introduce plan B restrictions. It followed growth of 0.2% in October.

The continuing increase in health services as a proportion of economic activity was another factor supporting the rise in GDP, the ONS said.

Against a backdrop of rising inflation and the threat of further interest rates by the Bank of England, business groups warned the economy remained weak.

Suren Thiru, the head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:


“Stronger growth in November is likely to be followed by a modest fall in output in December and January, as consumer caution to socialise and spend, and mounting staff absences sparked by Omicron and plan B limit activity.

“While the UK economy should rebound once plan B measures are lifted, surging inflation and persistent supply chain disruption may mean that the UK’s economic growth prospects remain under pressure for much of 2022.”








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Introduction: UK economy recovers to pre-Covid-19 levels

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