Official data released on Wednesday showed that the UK economy grew more slowly than previously predicted in the July-September period, before the Omicron variant of the coronavirus posed a new risk to the recovery later in the year.
GDP in the world's fifth-largest economy grew by 1.1% in the third quarter, less than the preliminary projection of 1.3%. According to the Office for National Statistics, this was slower than the economy's 5.4% recovery in the second quarter, when many coronavirus restrictions were lifted.
Investors are anticipating a slowdown in growth in the fourth quarter of 2021 as a result of an increase in COVI9-cases caused by Omicron, which has harmed the hospitality and leisure sector as well as retailers in the UK.
"Our revised figures show that UK GDP recovered a little slower in the third quarter, with much weaker performances across the quarter from health and hairdressers, and the energy sector contracting more in September than we previously expected," said ONS Director of Economic Statistics Darren Morgan.
"However, stronger data for 2020 indicates that in the third quarter, the economy was closer to pre-pandemic levels," he said.
GDP was 1.5% lower than it was at the end of 2019, up from a previous estimate of 2.1% lower than it was before the pandemic. In the third quarter, business investment declined by 2.5% from the previous three months, and was about 12% below its pre-pandemic level.
The Bank of England is hoping for a boost in business investment to enhance the UK's long-term growth prospects. As goods exports declined, goods imports rose, and foreign companies earned more income from their investments in the UK, the UK's balance of payments deficit increased to 24.4 billion pounds.