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UK GDP Rallies 16 Percent In Third Quarter As Pound Volatile Amid Brexit Talks, New COVID-19 Strain

CC0 / / British currency.
British currency. - Sputnik International
The record figures comes amid challenges such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty because of Brexit, according to a report from Britain's statistics agency.

The United Kingdom's gross domestic product rallied 16 percent between July and September compared with the same period a year earlier, beating analysts' expectations, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.

But the ONS added that the British economy had plunged 8.6 percent from pre-crisis levels after major gains in the second quarter, tumbling the same amount each year for the same period.

A British flag blows in the wind in front of the clock tower at the UK Houses of Parliament in central London. - Sputnik International
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Britain's recovery had been seen in private and government consumption as well as business investment, despite being below pre-lockdown levels and measures brought in because of COVID-19 public health restrictions, it said.

The news comes as there has been a slump in the British pound after a surge earlier in December owing to ongoing trade talks between London and Brussels, Reuters reported on Monday.

Britain's currency also suffered a fall because of news about a new strain of coronavirus capable of spreading faster than the previous one.

Further headaches for London came after the pound dropped below $1.32 on Monday when the European Union closed its borders to the UK in the wake of reports of the new strain, the release added.

Lorries have been blocked at the English Channel because of travel restrictions, including a suspension of air traffic in the UK, because of the new coronavirus strain, with France temporarily suspending freight transport from the UK.

The pound levelled off to $1.3385 on Tuesday morning, up from a 2.5 percent nosedive to $1.31 on Monday, but is expected to retreat further after Brussels rejected the UK's demands regarding fishing rights, UK media reported. Analysts reckon that the currency will remain unstable as UK-EU talks agree on a Brexit deal against the background of the 31 December transition deadline and travel restrictions.

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