Sumary of UK economy grows for third month in a row as Covid controls ease:
- The UK economy grew by 2.3% in April as the easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures fuelled a rebound in consumer spending, according to official figures..
- Retail sales grew sharply as non-essential shops reopened, alongside a pickup in bookings for caravan parks and holiday lets, and the reopening of hospitality venues outdoors lifted spending in pubs, bars and restaurants..
- The ONS said the annual rate of growth in April was 27.6%, demonstrating the difference from the worst month of the pandemic a year earlier, as the economy recovers from the biggest collapse in output for more than 300 years..
- The construction sector slipped by 2% in April after strong growth in March, while industrial production slumped by 1.3% as shutdowns in many car plants and large-scale oilfield maintenance work held back stronger growth in the economy..
- Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said stronger growth was expected as lockdown rules eased but that the recovery would soon lose momentum if the government did not step up investment..
- Pubs, restaurants and cafes recorded growth of 39% as venues could serve customers in outdoor seating areas, while other personal service activities, which includes hairdressing, grew by 63.5% after the reopening of salons and barbershops..
- Economists said there was evidence of pent-up demand as consumers were able to return to the high street and hospitality venues outdoors, as progress with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and rising business and consumer confidence lifted growth…