Latest figures show Britain’s economy enjoying ‘unprecedented growth spurt’ as it bounces back from the pandemic
Britain’s economy is enjoying ‘an unprecedented growth spurt’ as it bounces back from the pandemic, latest figures show.
The pace of recovery – far faster than expected at the time of the Budget in March – is set to hand Chancellor Rishi Sunak a windfall as borrowing falls more quickly than expected. That could pave the way for tax cuts rather than tax rises before the next election.
Bouncing back: The pace of recovery – far faster than expected at the time of the Budget in March – is set to hand Chancellor Rishi Sunak a windfall
In a sign the economy is firmly in recovery mode, the Office for National Statistics said retail sales rose by 9.2 per cent in April as the reopening of ‘non-essential’ stores sent shoppers back on to the High Street.
A separate report by IHS Markit showed activity in the private sector is rising at the fastest pace for more than 20 years.
The so-called purchasing managers’ index – where scores above 50 show growth – rose from 60.7 in April to 62 in May.
That was the highest score since records began in 1998. Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said: ‘The UK is enjoying an unprecedented growth spurt as the economy reopens. Factory orders are surging at a record pace as global demand for goods continues to revive, and the service sector is reporting near-record growth as the opening up of the economy allows more businesses to trade.
‘Business confidence has meanwhile hit an all-time high as concerns about the impact of the pandemic continue to fade.’