(Bloomberg) --

The U.K. economy surpassed its pre-pandemic size in November for the first time, suggesting momentum was gathering pace before a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

Gross domestic product rose 0.9% from October, when it gained 0.2%, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. Output was just 0.7% above its level in February 2020, before the pandemic struck.

Growth was driven by much stronger than expected gains in construction and manufacturing. However, economists are forecasting contractions in both December and January when the omicron variant of the virus led to unprecedented levels of staff absences, prompting offices to empty and events to be cancelled.

On a quarterly basis, GDP will reach or surpass its level at the end of 2019 unless output falls by more than 0.2% in December. 


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