The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) covers a period when non-essential retail as well as outdoor drinking and dining were allowed to resume – on 12 April.
It followed a subdued start to the year when latest lockdown measures had sent the economy into reverse gear.
The ONS said that April’s monthly growth was the fastest since July last year, when businesses were reopening after the initial period of coronavirus restrictions.
More on Covid
But it still left gross domestic product (GDP) 3.7% below its pre-pandemic peak of February 2020.
Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said GDP was boosted by strong growth in retail spending as well as schools – which had returned in March – being open for the full month, and the start of the reopening of the hospitality sector.
There was also an increase in car and caravan sales as well as negative one-off factors such as car plant shutdowns and oil field maintenance.
Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player
Pubs reopen doors in Stockton-on-Tees
Meanwhile, trade friction following the end of the Brexit transition period continued to have an impact.
“Exports of goods have now, broadly, recovered from the disruptions seen at the beginning of the year,” Mr Athow said.
“However, imports of goods from the EU are still significantly down on 2020 levels.”