Britain’s economy grows more than expected in May

UK inflation, the rate at which prices rise, hit 9.1% in May, and is expected to reach 11% later this year…reports Asian Lite News

The UK economy rebounded in May after shrinking in April and March, official figures show.

The economy grew by 0.5% during the month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, higher than the flat growth most analysts expected.

Growth in the construction industry and a large rise in GP appointments helped to boost the economy, the ONS said.

However, businesses reported that higher running costs had led to them to put up prices for customers.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said the UK economy had “rebounded” with growth across the main sectors, including manufacturing, services and construction.

“Health was the biggest driver with many more peoples seeing GPs, despite test and trace and the vaccination programmes winding down,” he said.

Morgan added that road haulage also had a “busy” May, while travel agencies saw a jump in demand as people booked summer holidays.

However, while the economy grew, many businesses reported that an increase in fuel and electricity costs had forced them to put up their prices for customers, the ONS said.

The UK’s statistics body also cited price increases for metals, some foods including fish and other staples.

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.

The new chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, who is in the race to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister, said it was “great” to see the economy growing but added that he knew people were concerned by rising prices.

“We’re working alongside the Bank of England to bear down on inflation and I am confident we can create a stronger economy for everyone across the UK,” Zahawi said.

But Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said economic growth was “still far too slow”.

“Instead of presenting the plans we need for a stronger, more secure economy, the Tories are spending every waking minute indulging in unfunded fantasy economics,” she added.

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