Sunak hails ‘promising sign’ of recovery as April reopening sees GDP grow by 2.3%
Britain’s economy grew by 2.3% in April as the high street and hospitality sector reopened, official figures show.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed it as a “promising sign that our economy is beginning to recover”.
The GDP 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.
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.
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.
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