Britain’s The economy showed unexpectedly strong growth in May, with all three key components of manufacturing, construction and services profiting.

The National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday that gross domestic product increased by 0.5% compared to an economic forecast of about 0.1%. GDP fell 0.2% in April.

However, the Confederation of British Industry has warned that numbers may fluctuate. May data was distorted by holidays (including additional holidays) commemorating the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s throne.

“This noise will continue to obscure the true state of the economy over the next few months,” Ben Jones, lead economist at CBI, said in a statement. “In reality, CBI surveys and real-time data show restrained economic momentum.”

The slowdown in UK economic growth has become a central issue in the contest to become the country’s next prime minister, and all candidates have promised tax cuts to encourage investment by business owners. Eight candidates are fighting to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who announced his resignation last week following a series of unreliable scandals.

As one sign of the headwinds facing the economy, the Statistics Bureau said higher prices put pressure on households, resulting in a 0.1% drop in output from consumer-oriented companies in May. The consumer price index rose 9.1% in May, the largest rise in 40 years.

Overall, the service sector expanded 0.4% a month, according to the Statistics Bureau. This increase was facilitated by healthcare as more appointments were made with general practitioners after the COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.

Services account for about 80% of the UK’s economic production.

Production in the manufacturing and other production industries in May increased by 0.9% and construction increased by 1.5%. MDT / AP

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