The Office for National Statistics estimates the GDP grew by 2.3% in April this year as Government restrictions continued to cease, causing the fastest monthly growth since July 2020.

Data shows that GDP in April was still 3.7% below the national output seen in February 2020, but stood 1.2% above the initial recovery peak in October 2020. 

Services grew by 3.4% in April, while accommodation service actives grew significantly by 68.6% as caravan parks and holiday lets opened up. 

Food and beverage service activities grew by 39% as pubs, restaurants and cafes were able to service customers in outdoor seating areas. 

Output in the production sector fell by 1.3% while construction saw its first drop-off since December 2020, falling by 2%. 

 

‘Triple lock’ pension pledge could cost Treasury £4bn

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will have to stump up £4bn on pensions from next year to cover the Conservative Party’s ‘triple lock’ pledge, despite efforts to cut back spending after the pandemic. 

The headline growth rate of average UK earnings rose to 5.6% in April – artificial inflation caused by last year’s furlough scheme and job losses.

Economists expect it to rise to around 8% by July, but say the true rate of growth is much lower. 

This means Sunak will have to hike pensions by the headline rate if he is going to stick to the Tories’ triple-lock promise, which ensures state pensions rise highest out of average earnings growth, inflation or 2.5%. 

 

Renting a home now cheaper than buying one

The cost of renting grew at a record rate last month amid huge spikes in house prices, but regardless, renting is now cheaper than buying a house.

The average cost of a rented home in Britain jumped to £1,054 per month in May, up 7.1% on the same month last year according to Hamptons, the fastest rise seen by the estate agency since they started analysing the market in 2013. 

The spike was largest for bigger properties, a trend that had played out since the market reopened after the first lockdown last year, with the average rent on a four-bed property rising by 9.5% to £1,805. Rent on one-bedroom homes on the other hand, rose by 0.4%. 

John Stolliday
John Stolliday

John Stolliday runs The Financial Management Centre in Luton East. John is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and bookkeeper (MICB) with UK and Middle East experience in the construction and building services sectors, handling company turnovers up to £100m and staff of 15. John has held senior roles, up to board level, in civil engineering, industrial engineering, pipelines, general building and building maintenance companies.