Economic growth in the United Kingdom was 0.8% in May, resulting in an average quarterly growth rate of 3.6%, well below the median forecast of 3.9%. In terms of monthly growth, the 0.8% May rate was half of the 1.5% that most economists were expecting and was down considerably from the 2% rate recorded in April.

The UK economy remains roughly 3% smaller than when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020.

Accommodation and food services led the way with a 37.1% month-on-month expansion, powered by easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the country. Overall, the UK service sector grew by 0.9% in May.

Manufacturing and construction on the other hand were dragged down by a lack of critical inputs. Transport equipment fell by 16.5% on global chip shortages, and construction shrunk by 0.8%, the second consecutive monthly contraction, due to shortages of steel and timber.