UK’s economy grows just 1.8% in May

The UK's economy grew just 1.8% in May, rebounding more slowly than expected from the previous month.

Manufacturing and house building showed signs of recovery in May as some firms saw staff return to work. However, the Office for National Statistics said the economy was "in the doldrums".

As a result of big contractions in previous months, the UK economy is now 24.5% smaller than it was in February, the ONS added.

Kingswood chief investment officer Rupert Thompson said: “While the manufacturing and construction sectors both saw gains of over 8% in May, the service sector rose only 0.9% m/m as lockdown had only just started to be relaxed back then.

"These numbers paint a rather gloomier picture than painted both by Andy Haldane, the BoE’s chief economist, a couple of weeks ago and the larger than expected increases in retail sales and  business confidence reported over the last couple of months. The data only emphasises the economy’s need for the range of stimulus measures announced by the Chancellor last week.”

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