Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Business

UK economy grew by slower-than expected 0.8% in May – ONS

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy grew by a slower-than expected 0.8% in May from April, according to official data which raised questions about the intensity of the bounce-back from coronavirus lockdowns.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to month-on-month growth of 1.5% in gross domestic product.

The Office for National Statistics also revised down its figure for growth in April to 2.0% from its previous estimate of 2.3%.

April saw the easing of restrictions for non-essential retailers, hairdressers and pubs and restaurants that could serve customers outside. In May, hospitality firms were allowed to resume indoor service.

Despite the slowdown in May, the 0.8% growth rate was faster than typical pre-pandemic, month-on-month rises in GDP.

Britain’s huge services sector grew by 0.9% from April, including a huge 37.1% monthly jump for accommodation and food services.

Industrial output grew by 0.8% while construction output contracted by 0.8% from April.

Growth meant GDP was 3.1% smaller at the end of May than it was in February 2020, before the pandemic struck the country.

Compared with May last year, when the country was grappling to come to terms with its first coronavirus lockdown, GDP was up by nearly 25%, the ONS said.

(Reporting by William Schomberg and David Milliken)

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