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Slight upturn in UK economy for month of May

Royal wedding and warm weather contribute to small upturn in economy in May 2018.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has changed the way it’s calculating the UK’s GDP (gross domestic profit) – moving to ‘a monthly indicator and a rolling three-month figure’, says BBC News.

And its first figures – tracking the month of May – suggest a slight upturn in the economy, which, says the BBC, ‘grew by 0.3%’, no doubt ‘helped by the royal wedding and warm weather’.

‘In the three months to May, the economy grew by 0.2% compared with the previous three-month period.’

Modest growth

ONS Head of National Accounts, Rob Kent-Smith, attributes this to ‘modest growth driven by the services sector, partly offset by falling construction and industrial output’, quotes the BBC.

‘Retailing, computer programming and legal services all performed strongly in the three months to May,’ he said, ‘while housebuilding and manufacturing both contracted.’

The BBC piece offers mixed responses on the stats. It quotes Chief Economist at Deloitte, Ian Stewart, as saying: ‘The long awaited bounce-back from a weak first quarter has failed to materialise’.

And Samuel Tombs, Chief UK Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, suggests the upturn in May may be ‘just strong enough to tip the balance’ for an August rate rise.

The BBC’s own analysis begins ‘Getting a little better, pretty slowly’.

‘Today’s economic growth figures for May reveal that the “bounce-back” from the weather-related misery of the first three months of the year is small, though not insignificant.’

Read more over on BBC News.

August 2018