UK economy shrank slightly in May

The UK economy contracted in May, partly due to the extra public holiday for the King’s Coronation, which reduced the number of working days.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that GDP declined by 0.1% after growth of 0.2% in April.

Every sector of the economy flatlined or shrank in May.

“GDP fell slightly as manufacturing, energy generation and construction all fell back with some industries impacted by one fewer working day than normal,” said Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics. “Meanwhile, despite the Coronation Bank Holiday, pubs and bars saw sales fall after a strong April. Employment agencies also saw another poor month.

“However, services were flat overall with health recovering, with less impact from strikes than in the previous month, and IT also had a strong month.”

Across the three months to May the economy showed no growth, Morgan added.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said that high inflation is still holding back economic growth.

“The best way to get growth going again and ease the pressure on families is to bring inflation down as quickly as possible. Our plan will work, but we must stick to it.”

Research firm Capital Economics said that GDP is on track to rise by around 0.1% in the three months to June.