: U.K

U.K. GDP edges up in May, leaving economy nearly a fifth below prelockdown levels

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A shop in Churchill Square shopping mall welcomes its customers back on June 15, 2020 in Brighton, United Kingdom.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The British economy rose 1.8% in May, only a slight rebound after the historic fall caused by the shutdown from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics said the May rise came after a 20.3% drop in April and a 6.9% contraction in March.  GDP fell by 19.1% in the three months to May, as government restrictions on movement dramatically reduced economic activity, the ONS said.

The U.K. economy skidded 24.5% between February and May. Construction fell by 38.8% during that timespan, manufacturing fell 22.3%, services output fell 24.4%.

“Manufacturing and house building showed signs of recovery as some businesses saw staff return to work. Despite this, the economy was still a quarter smaller in May than in February, before the full effects of the pandemic struck,” said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics.

Andrew Sentance, a former Bank of England official, tweeted the tepid growth wasn’t a surprise.

The pound GBPUSD, -0.29% traded at $1.2544 vs. $1.2553 on Monday.

Source: MarketWatch

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