The UK economy returned to modest growth in February despite the country being under lockdown but remains sharply below its pre-pandemic peak, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The latest data released by ONS shows that UK GDP rose by 0.4% in February, having shrunk in January.
Growth was led by the production sector and construction, with the large services sector only expanding modestly due to pandemic restrictions.
The expansion fell short of forecasts of around 0.6%, which leaves the economy around 7.8% below the levels seen in February 2020.
However, imports from the EU, which also saw an unprecedented decline at the start of the year, recovered around a fifth of the levels lost.
An ONS spokesperson said: 'The economy showed some improvement in February after the large falls seen at the start of the year but remains around 8% below its pre-pandemic level.
'Exports to the EU recovered significantly from their January fall, though still remain below 2020 levels. However, imports from the EU are yet to significantly rebound, with a number of issues hampering trade.'