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UK economy gets boost in April as shops reopen UK economy grows in April as shops reopen
(32 minutes later)
The UK economy grew 2.3% in April, its fastest monthly growth since July last year.The UK economy grew 2.3% in April, its fastest monthly growth since July last year.
Shoppers spent more on the High Street as non-essential shops reopened, and people bought more cars and caravans.Shoppers spent more on the High Street as non-essential shops reopened, and people bought more cars and caravans.
There was also more spending in pubs, cafes and restaurants as restrictions eased the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.There was also more spending in pubs, cafes and restaurants as restrictions eased the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Despite the surge in activity, the UK economy is still 3.7% below its pre-pandemic peak.Despite the surge in activity, the UK economy is still 3.7% below its pre-pandemic peak.
Construction fell in April compared to strong growth the previous month.
But Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the figures were "a promising sign that our economy is beginning to recover".But Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the figures were "a promising sign that our economy is beginning to recover".
Mr Sunak said more than one million people had come off the government's furlough scheme in March and April as businesses reopened.Mr Sunak said more than one million people had come off the government's furlough scheme in March and April as businesses reopened.
Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics said: "Strong growth in retail spending, increased car and caravan purchases, schools being open for the full month, and the beginning of the reopening of hospitality all boosted the economy in April."Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics said: "Strong growth in retail spending, increased car and caravan purchases, schools being open for the full month, and the beginning of the reopening of hospitality all boosted the economy in April."
Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK, said shoppers flocked back to the High Street as households spent some of their savings on non-essential goods.
The reopening of barbers and salons meant economic activity at hairdressers and other personal care services grew 63.5%.