THE UK economy grew by 2.3% in April when pubs, shops and restaurants could after months of being in lockdown.

It marks the fastest monthly growth since July 2020, according to official data from the Office for National Statistics.

At this point, the UK's GDP –  a measure of the size of the economy – grew 7.3%.

But despite April's growth, the economy still remains 3.7% below what it used to be before the pandemic in February 2020.

But it is 1.2% above when the economy first began to recover in October 2020.

April's growth was driven by the reopening of hospitality businesses, according to the ONS.

England's boozers, restaurants and non-essential shops could reopen once more under stage two of the PM's roadmap out of lockdown.

Brits could finally grab a pint or a bite to eat outside, while the high street buzzed once more with customers.

It meant that the services industry grew by 3.4% during that month, the ONS said.

Commenting on the latest data, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "Today's figures are a promising sign that our economy is beginning to recover.

"With more than a million people coming off furlough across March and April and the number of employees in work rising, it is clear that our Plan for Jobs is working.

"But I know there are people who still need our support, which is why the furlough scheme is in place until September to protect as many jobs as possible, and schemes like Kickstart will continue to create jobs for young people, as we look to build the economy of the future."

More to follow…

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