S&P Global expects UK economy to expand 6.9% in 2021; outlook stable

(Alliance News) - S&P Global Ratings on Friday affirmed its AA/A-1+ unsolicited long- and ...

Alliance News 22 October, 2021 | 8:58PM
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(Alliance News) - S&P Global Ratings on Friday affirmed its AA/A-1+ unsolicited long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the UK and maintained the outlook as stable.

The ratings agency said the stable outlook was supported by the UK's high income levels, large, diversified economy and financial sector, developed product and labour markets and sterling's reserve currency status.

S&P expects the UK's economic recovery to continue, with gross domestic product growth reaching 6.9% in 2021 and real output surpassing its pre-pandemic peak in early 2022.

The agency believes that the direct risks from the domestic spread of Covid-19 have receded, given that the UK has fully vaccinated close to 70% of its population, in line with government plans.

However, S&P noted that as virus-related risks ease, there are other factors that could cloud the UK's economic outlook. These include a significant increase in global energy prices, disruptions of supply chains, the withdrawal of UK government financial support and higher taxes.

"Although these developments present a risk, so far we do not expect them to derail the economic outlook for the UK As the recovery matures and pent-up demand recedes, supply chains should eventually catch up, even if there is no immediate respite in some more heavily affected sectors. Higher inflation and the withdrawal of government support will reduce household real incomes, but additional savings accumulated throughout the pandemic--particularly during lockdowns, when spending was more constrained--should help cushion the impact and smooth consumption patterns," S&P said.

"The labor market is also in strong shape, with vacancies reaching an all-time high of 1.1 million during July to September 2021. Overall, we expect real GDP to expand by 6.9% in 2021, reaching the pre-pandemic level in early 2022. We forecast growth of 5.2% in 2021, before it moderates toward longer-term rates of 1.5% to 1.8% from 2023," it added.

By Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

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