Coronavirus: Economy ‘still a quarter below’ pre-crisis level in May | Business News

Official figures show the economy failed to regain much momentum in May – the second full month of the coronavirus lockdown.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported a 1.8% improvement in UK output during May compared to the previous month but said the economy remained 24.5% below its pre-crisis level in February.

Jonathan Athow, its deputy national statistician, said of the performance: “Manufacturing and house-building showed signs of recovery as some businesses saw staff return to work.

“Despite this, the economy was still a quarter smaller in May than in February, before the full effects of the pandemic struck.

“In the important services sector we saw some pick-up in retail, which saw record online sales.

“However, with lockdown restrictions remaining in place, many other services remained in the doldrums, with a number of areas seeing further declines.”

The data is encouraging in the sense that the worst would appear to be over following the record slump for output during April.

Sky News