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Premier African Minerals CEO says new strategy and new assets have completely transformed #PREM
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UPDATE 1-More UK companies shuttered by COVID clampdown last month

Thu, 14th Jan 2021 11:00

(Adds details)

By Andy Bruce

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The proportion of businesses in
Britain open during the second half of December fell sharply in
the second half of December as COVID-19 restrictions tightened
across the country, an official survey showed on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics said 71% of businesses
were operating, down from 84% in the first half of the month and
the lowest proportion since late June, when Britain's economy
was emerging from its first COVID-19 lockdown.

The proportion of workers furloughed, based on the responses
of businesses, rose to 14% in the latest survey from 11%
previously.

The figures are likely to reinforce expectations that the
economy entered a double-dip recession in late 2020.

A third national lockdown at the start of 2021 is likely to
result in a sharper hit. Finance minister Rishi Sunak warned on
Monday that the situation would likely get worse before it gets
better as COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out.

Economic data for November - which included the second
COVID-19 lockdown - are likely to show an almost 6% drop in
output for that month, according to a Reuters poll of
economists. The figures are due on Friday at 0700 GMT.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce
Editing by William Schomberg and Estelle Shirbon)

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