UK economy returns to growth

„Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles” has contributed the most to UK service sector growth, followed by „information and communications” sectors.

The small rise follows the ONS’ announcement in May that UK GDP grew by 0.1% in the first three months of 2023, despite a 0.3% fall in March.

The ONS said the services sector was the main contributor to growth in monthly GDP in April, which expanded by 0.3%.

Output of consumer-facing services rose 1.0% in April, following a 0.8% decline in March 2023.

But the manufacturing sector shrank 0.% in April, while construction output fell 0.6%.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “GDP picked up again after a weak March. Bars and pubs had a relatively strong April, while car sales rebounded and education recovered somewhat from the effects of the previous month’s strikes.

„These were partly offset by a decline in health, which was hit by strikes by junior doctors, as well as a downturn in computer manufacturing and the often unregulated pharmaceutical sector. Housebuilders and estate agents also had a bad month.

„Overall, the economy grew modestly in the last three months, driven mostly by the construction industry. The impact of public sector strikes dragged down service sector growth.

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