UK economy returns to growth in April as consumer spending improves

UK gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.2% in April. Credit: PA

The UK economy bounced back in April after it was boosted by stronger consumer spending in shopping and hospitality.

UK gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.2% for the month after a 0.3% fall in March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

The latest figure was in line with forecasts for the month from economists.

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: "GDP bounced back after a weak March.

"Bars and pubs had a comparatively strong April, while car sales rebounded and education partially recovered from the effect of the previous month's strikes.

"These were partially offset by falls in health, which was affected by the junior doctors strikes, along with falls in computer manufacturing and the often-erratic pharmaceuticals industry.

"House-builders and estate agents also had a poor month."

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. Credit: Jordan Pettitt/PA

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said he plans to "stick relentlessly to our plan" in order to continue with growth.

He said: "We are growing the economy, with the IMF [International Monetary Fund] saying that from 2025 we will grow faster than Germany, France and Italy.

"But high growth needs low inflation, so we must stick relentlessly to our plan to halve the rate this year to protect family budgets."

However, Labour's shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves described the the government's handling of the economy as "dismal".

"Despite our country's huge potential and promise, today is another day in the dismal low-growth record book of this Conservative government," she said.

"The facts remain that families are feeling worse off, facing a soaring Tory mortgage penalty and we're lagging behind on the global stage."

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