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As well as being a global crisis for humanity, the COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the world economy. Although the UK property market remained resilient, due to lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the government, the hospitality sector was one of the most affected in the UK. In fact, economic output in the hospitality sector was down 90% in April 2020 compared to February 2020.
Following a phased easing of restrictions from April 2021, all lockdown rules were lifted by July. The Bank of England predicted that the UK economy would expand by 7.25% this year, growing at the fastest rate in over 70 years.
Falling slightly below the expected growth between the months of April and June, at 4.8% (0.2% below the predictions), the UK economy is nonetheless thriving as businesses emerge from lockdown. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) was fuelled by retail, restaurants and hotels.
Despite falling slightly under predicted growth so far, Senior UK Economist, Ruth Gregor is confident that the UK economy will return to its pre-pandemic size: “We are comfortable with our view that monthly GDP will return to its February 2020 pre-pandemic size by October and that the economy may yet surprise most forecasters by emerging from the pandemic without much scarring.”
The main driver of growth was consumer spending, which rose by 7.3% over the quarter, ahead of expectations. Although still below pre-pandemic levels, output is expected to recover as international travel becomes more possible.
As these sectors re-open without restrictions for the first time in 18 months, we are pleased to say our No.1 Trip Advisor aparthotel CitySuites Manchester is back at 100% capacity. A 10-minute walk from the AO arena and a 5-minute walk from the central retail and business district, CitySuites welcomes a range of visitors for both leisure and business, for short and long-term stays.
Major events centre Manchester Central, which was transformed into an emergency hospital to treat Coronavirus patients last year, has just re-opened its doors after 16 months in lockdown with over 100 events in the pipeline. CEO Shaun Hinds commented: “At a localised level, Manchester Central brings £150m into the city in a typical year. For every £1 spent at the venue, on average a further £6 is spent in the wider city – in hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and taxis.”
A similar story for all major UK cities, after a year of uncertainty and inconsistency, the future is looking bright as we finally regain a sense of normality.
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