The UK economy recorded slow growth in April, after having shrunk in the previous month, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The economic output grew by 0.2 per cent, month on month, in April, in line with economists’ expectations, the ONS said.
The hospitality sector was the largest contributor to the increase in consumer-facing services in April 2023, 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.
: “Not substantive but positive signs of growth and recovery – and dependent on discretionary spend – but clearly fragile confidence and vital action to tackle inflation uses the right levers and tackles the right causes – energy and labour.”
She added the results served “a reminder of the importance of hospitality in driving economic growth and why it matters whether the sector is resilient”.
It comes after the ONS revealed the UK economy unexpectedly grew by 0.1% in November 2022 as a result of people going to the pub to watch the FIFA World Cup.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt repeated his plan to cut the rate of inflation in half, which is currently running at 8.7 per cent.
“We are growing the economy, with the IMF [the International Monetary Fund] saying that from 2025 we will grow faster than Germany, France and Italy,” Mr Hunt said.
“But high growth needs low inflation, so we must stick relentlessly to our plan to halve the rate this year to protect family budgets.”
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves from the opposition Labour said: “Despite our country’s huge potential and promise, today is another day in the dismal low-growth record book of this Conservative government.
“The facts remain that families are feeling worse off, facing a soaring Tory mortgage penalty and we’re lagging behind on the global stage.”