The UK’s economy rebounded more slowly than expected in May, growing just 1.8% from the previous month, as the gradual easing of lockdown had a modest impact.
Manufacturing and house building showed signs of recovery in May as some firms saw staff return to work.
But the Office for National Statistics said the economy was “in the doldrums”.
As a result of big contractions in previous months, the UK economy is now 24.5% smaller than it was in February, the ONS added.
What do the experts make of the latest figures?
The return to economic growth in May was described as “disappointing” by economists, who had expected an expansion of 5% or more.
“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 at the ONS.
“In the important services sector, we saw some pick-up in retail, which saw record online sales. However, with lockdown restrictions remaining in place, many other services remained in the doldrums, with a number of areas seeing further declines.”