Strong trading in hospitality helps UK economy return to slender growth

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Strong trading in hospitality helps as UK economy returns to slender growth

Related tags Inflation Interest rate Ons

The UK economy grew by 0.2% in April after contracting 0.3% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), helped by strong trading in hospitality.

Output in consumer-facing services grew by 1%, following a fall of 0.8% the previous month. The largest contribution to the rise came from food and beverage service activities, which grew by 2%.

Responding to the figures, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ​“It is positive to see the UK economy start to return to growth, with pubs across the country playing a leading role in that. These figures demonstrate that even when times are tough, people want to enjoy a visit to their local pub.

“As an industry we consistently contribute to the economy, and despite a tough few years, have continued to support jobs and livelihoods on high streets and in towns, villages and cities across the country.

“Despite this, and ongoing support from the public, profits are being stripped away by high inflation and pubs trying to keep costs low for customers, the Government must take meaningful action to bring inflation down and ensure we can continue to invest, grow and support our economy.”

The latest snapshot comes amid growing expectations the Bank of England will raise interest rates for a 13th time in succession next week from its current level of 4.5% in response to stubbornly high inflation.

Trade body UKHospitality has previously warned that the rises mean businesses repaying loans taken during the pandemic will face a significant impact to their viability, as the consistently rising rates will compound their debt.

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