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New monthly data

Royal wedding and warm weather lift UK economy

Harry and Meghan’s nuptials helped lift economic activity


 

Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle helped give the UK economy a lift in May, according to new monthly GDP figures.

Output rose by 0.3%, also helped by an extended spell of warm weather. The figures were more upbeat than some other recent reports and will give the Bank of England a good reason to raise interest rates next month for only the second time in over a decade.

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The latest GDP data confirms that there was a modest rally in economic activity over recent months but coming after the marked slowdown in the first quarter there is further confirmation that UK growth remains underwhelming.”

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said: “Evidence of a decent performance from the economy’s dominant consumer sector had already suggested that activity in Q2 had bounced back from weather-related disruption in the first quarter.

“Given signs of increased momentum, we are confident that the economy expanded by 0.4% in Q2, with services growth on course to run at a six-quarter high.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: “Today’s first ever publication of monthly GDP data is a welcome innovation by the ONS. In particular it brings forward publication of data on the key services sector, moving this into line with that for industrial production and construction. This better reflects the shape of the modern UK economy where around 80% of GDP is accounted for by services.”



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