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UK economic output rises 1.8% in May after historic April plunge

The UK economy rebounded in May after a partial lifting of the coronavirus lockdown but the relaxation of restrictions provided a smaller than expected boost to the country’s output.

Gross domestic product grew 1.8 per cent in May compared to the previous month, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. This was well below the 5.5 per cent forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

The monthly increase in GDP was small compared with the 20.3 per cent plunge registered in April. As a result, in May the UK economy was still 24 per cent smaller than in the same month last year, pointing to a long way to go to recover to pre-crisis levels.

The increase in May was supported by an 8.2 per cent monthly expansion for construction, reflecting the easing of restrictions for the sector on May 11. Output in the manufacturing sector grew 8.4 per cent, as workers were encouraged to return to work on the same day.

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