It came as official figures revealed the unprecedented scale of the piles of money put aside by households as ‘non-essential’ shops, restaurants and bars remained closed for months and holidays abroad. were to be suspended.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the savings rate – the proportion of disposable income set aside for a rainy day – has fallen from 14.3% to 16.1% in the past three months from 2020.
For the year as a whole, the savings rate – which peaked during the first lockdown last spring – fell from 6.8% in 2019 to a record 16.3%.
London Minister Paul Scully told The Standard: “I hope that the fact that these numbers show that people have put money aside that as we regain our freedoms people can go out and help support our local economies. Allowing our businesses to bounce back will protect our jobs, our shopping streets and our local neighborhoods. ”
City economists said the “silver wall” would help spur economic growth as sectors such as hospitality and retail reopen in the coming months, leading to a surge in production after the locking.
Ruth Gregory, UK economist with forecasters Capital Economics, said: “This gives us optimism that consumption will shift from the weakest sector of the economy to the strongest in 2021, as buyers start using their credit cards again. credit and debit.
Professor Jonathan Haskel, a member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, estimated total savings could reach up to £ 300 billion by the end of the pandemic.
The Bank’s chief economist Andy Haldane has said that a “heart-wrenching” rebound from recession is possible even if only part of it is triggered by a spending boom.
There was more good news for the ONS economy today when it updated its estimate of growth in the fourth quarter of last year from 1 percent to 1.3 percent.