// The UK economy rebounded in May after shrinking in April and March, figures from the Office for National Statistics show
// GDP grew by 0.5% in the month to May
GDP (gross domestic product) returned to growth after a decline of 0.2% in April last year. Economists had expected zero growth in May alone, and in the three months to May, amid surging prices and inflation.
Growth in the construction industry, travel sector and a large rise in GP appointments helped to boost the economy, the ONS said, but it added that businesses reporting that higher running costs had led to them increasing prices for customers.
“The economy rebounded in May with growth across all main sectors,” said ONS director of statistics Darren Morgan.
“Health was the biggest driver with many more people seeing GPs, despite test and trace and the vaccination programmes winding down. Road hauliers also had a busy month, while travel agencies fared well with pent-up demand for summer holidays.
“There was widespread growth across manufacturing after several tough months, while construction also fared well with housebuilding and office refurbishment driving growth.”
Mr Morgan added that road haulage also had a “busy” May, while travel agencies saw a jump in demand as people booked summer holidays.
Both businesses and households are being hit by rising prices, which are surging at their fastest rate for 40 years due to record-high fuel and energy costs.
UK inflation, the rate at which prices rise, hit 9.1% in May, and is expected to reach 11% later this year.
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