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Britain’s economy has performed significantly better than previously expected during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the economy expanding by almost 2%, the ONS said on Friday.

Its annual review of previously published data showed that the contraction at the height of the crisis in 2020 was less severe than first thought, as it found businesses had been building up large unsold inventories rather than drawing them down. For 2021, a close look at wholesale companies and the health sector yields very large upward revisions.

The changes mean the UK economy will grow by 0.6% from pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, rather than shrinking by 1.2% as suggested in the original figures.

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