Figures released last month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the economy returned to growth in May after contracting during April. In total, UK economic output rose by 0.5% across the month, significantly exceeding the consensus forecast from a Reuters poll of economists which had predicted zero growth.
ONS said the main sectors of the economy all expanded during May including construction, travel and manufacturing. The data also revealed significant growth within health services as one of the key drivers of growth during the month.
In spite of May’s rebound, analysts still expect the economy to come under increasing pressure in the coming months as the cost-of-living squeeze weighs heavily on households’ ability to spend. Recent survey evidence also points to weaker growth, with July’s preliminary headline reading of S&P Global’s Purchasing Managers’ Index recording the weakest rise in UK private sector business activity for 17 months.