The UK economy grew by 1.8% in May as the coronavirus lockdown eased, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. Despite the growth, it still remained a quarter below its pre-pandemic levels, according to official data.
The ONS said the economy eked out growth as manufacturing and housebuilding showed signs of recovery after restrictions began to be lifted in May. But despite the month-on-month increase in gross domestic product (GDP), output is still a long way from recovering from the record falls seen in March and April when Britain was in full lockdown – and was 24.5% lower compared with February before the crisis struck.
May’s GDP growth is also far short of the 5% rise expected by most economists.
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