UK economy grew 0.8% in May as lockdown restrictions continued to ease

THE UK economy grew by 0.8% in May as lockdown restrictions continued to ease.

It comes as hotels and cinemas reopened, while pubs and restaurants could welcome diners inside for the first time in months.

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Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) slowed from April though, when it grew by 2.3%, according to the Official for National Statistics (ONS).

And despite the recent growth, the economy still remains 3.1% below what it used to be before the pandemic hit in February 2020.

Analysts had predicted that the economy would report a 1.5% increase for the month.

The service sector grew by 0.9% in May, of which accommodation and food services increased by 37.1% as restaurants opened for indoor dining.

On May 17, hotels and B&Bs also reopened alongside indoor entertainment and attractions, such as cinemas and museums.

It came after shops, gyms, hairdressers and other non-essential shops reopened across England on April 12.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said: "The economy grew for the fourth consecutive month, albeit at a lower pace than seen recently, but remains around 3% below it's pre-pandemic peak.

"Pubs and restaurants, who were again able to welcome indoor guests, were responsible for the vast majority of the growth seen in May.

"Hotels also saw a marked recovery as restrictions lifted."


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