Following a sharp tumble of 20.3 percent in April, the U.K. economy returned to growth in May on expansion in wholesale and retail.
The monthly GDP released on Tuesday showed that Britain grew 1.8 percent, yet that was beneath analysts’ forecasts of 5.5 percent increase.
In the three months ended May, the economy was 19.1 percent down as the lockdown measures to contain the Covid-19 spread yielded in slowdown in business activities and massive job loss.
In June, the U.K. may show further progress as the government eased the closures and business activity had come back to near normality. But the second quarter GDP reading is likely to remain in contraction due to the record drop of April.
“Today’s figures underline the scale of the challenge we face … That’s why I set out our Plan for Jobs last week (investing up to £30bn),” said chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.
The British pound traded 0.32 percent down versus the US dollar at 1.2513, set for its second straight daily drop.