The UK economy grew 15.5% from July to September, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
However, the expansion is not enough to reverse the contraction to the economy caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, as GDP was still 8.2% lower than before the virus struck.
Paul Craig, portfolio manager at Quilter Investors, said: “While the UK economy expanded the most on record in the third quarter, this is simply catch-up on lost months and not a recovery in the true sense of the word. Since the economy is still nearly a tenth smaller than before the pandemic we are some way off yet reaching parity and kicking on from there.
“Furthermore, it is important to note that the rebound trails behind the UK’s major peers and is clear the ‘V’ shaped bounce back has begun to peter out.
“That said, it is pleasing to see an improvement in all sections of the economy – services, manufacturing and construction. We just have to hope that the second, and much softer, lockdown doesn’t weigh too much on the economy as we are unlikely to see as much pent-up demand being as before. We are also unlikely to see measures such as Eat Out to Help Out again which clearly had a positive effect on the economy, but potentially less so on the public health of the nation.
“The recent vaccine announcement could prove the ray of light for the economy going forward, assuming Brexit doesn’t stand between us and the medicine, which is likely to be produced in Europe.”
Several commentators have speculated that the UK could be in for a ‘W’-shaped contraction and recovery pattern.
Richard Pearson, director at investment platform EQi, said: “With the second lockdown in full swing now, and a surging unemployment rate, we are on a slow march through a long winter. In what should be the busiest shopping season, we are met with shuttered high streets across the country and an impending hit to the GDP on the horizon, igniting fears of a ‘W’ shaped recovery.
“One glimmer of hope that may provide unexpected confidence in the coming months is the success of the vaccine. If this promise is upheld, the trajectory of our economic recovery could change for the better, but even the suggestion seems to be having an effect already.”