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.