UK economic growth exceeds forecasts in May, driven by British carmakers

The British economy grew by more than expected in May, supported by stronger car production in the wake of Brexit-related shutdowns, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.

UK economic growth exceeded forecasts in May, spurred on by a resurgence in British car production after Brexit-related shutdowns hurt the sector earlier in the year, according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

British economic growth grew by 0.3% in May after contracting by 0.4% in April, the ONS said.

‘The economy returned to growth in the month of May, following the fall seen in April. This was mainly due to the partial recovery in car production,’ ONS statistician Rob Kent-Smith said.

British carmakers prop up ailing UK economy

British carmakers initiated their summer shutdowns early in April to minimise the impact of Brexit on its the original March 29 deadline only for it to be pushed back to October 31.

Despite the Brexit shambles, however, British carmakers output rebounded significantly in May, helping to improve growth and ease investors concerns about the pace of the country’s economic slowdown.

In fact, output in the three months to May ended up being 0.3% higher than in the previous three-month period, exceeding forecasts for growth of 0.1%

Bank of England feared UK economy would flatline in Q2

The Bank of England (BoE) had raised concerns that global trade tensions, particularly between the US and China, combined with Brexit uncertainty, would spell disaster for the UK economy.

Last month, the BoE said that it expected economic growth to flatline during in the second quarter (Q2) of the year, after the UK recorded 0.5% growth in the previous quarter.

However, data from the ONS suggests that the UK economy could expand slightly in Q2, despite contracting by 0.4% in April.

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