Tom Mongan, president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire felt the economy pick up in August according to new figures but the Chamber says there is still ‘some way to go’ to reach pre-pandemic levels.

The UK economy grew by 0.4 per cent in August – the first full month since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in England – but it remains 0.8 per cent short of its height pre-Covid.

Tom Mongan, president of the Chamber, said many firms had the demand to grow more quickly but are being hit by a range of issues.

He said: “The economy continues to slowly recover from the pandemic and the restrictions that have been placed up on businesses – and the whole of society – over the past 18 months.

“There is still some way to go to achieve parity with the level the economy was at before Covid-19 struck so it looks likely that we will have almost two years’ worth of lost growth.

“Arts, entertainment, recreation and hospitality were the fastest growing sectors in August which is understandable when you consider that, in England, it was the first full month without any restrictions.

“At the Chamber we speak to lots of businesses on a daily basis and there is real pent-up demand and an opportunity for growth. However, recruitment difficulties, rising costs and supply chain issues are holding that back.

“It’s vitally important that the Government moves quickly to address these issues and that the Chancellor’s Budget later this month helps companies across Coventry and Warwickshire achieve the growth that will help our economy drive forward.”