UK economy posts record annual jump in April, up 27.6%

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Britain’s economic output in April was a record 27.6% larger than 12 months before, official data showed on Friday, an increase that reflects recent reopening and the scale of disruption to everyday life early in the COVID pandemic.

The figure matched the consensus of economists polled by Reuters.

In April alone, output rose by 2.3%, marking the fastest growth since July, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, and compared with the Reuters poll consensus for a 2.2% increase.

But British economic output is still 3.7% lower than in February 2020, before the pandemic led to lockdown measures.

“Today’s figures are a promising sign that our economy is beginning to recover,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

Last month the Bank of England raised its forecast for British economic growth in 2021 to 7.25% from February’s estimate of 5.0%.

That would be the fastest annual growth since 1941 when Britain was rearming during World War Two. But it comes after output plunged by almost 10%, the biggest drop in more than 300 years.

Photo: EPA/WILL OLIVER