UK economy grew by 0.2% between April and June, official figures show

11 August 2023, 07:16 | Updated: 11 August 2023, 10:08

Experts had expected GDP to remain the same
Experts had expected GDP to remain the same. Picture: Getty/ONS
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The UK economy grew by 0.2% in the second quarter of the year as it showed a surprisingly good performance in June.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.5% in June, helped by the manufacturing sector.

Economists had expected GDP to grow by 0.2% in June and 0.0% in the quarter as a whole. It grew by 0.1% in the first quarter of the year.

Rishi Sunak hailed the figures, saying they demonstrate that the government's plan is working.

"At the beginning of the year I made growing the economy one of my top priorities, and we are making progress," he said.

"There’s still more work to do, but today’s figures show the plan is working."

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ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: "The economy bounced back from the effects of May's extra bank holiday to record strong growth in June.

"Manufacturing saw a particularly strong month with both cars and the often-erratic pharmaceutical industry seeing particularly buoyant growth."

"Services also had a strong month with publishing and car sales and legal services all doing well, though this was partially offset by falls in health, which was hit by further strike action," he continued.

"Construction also grew strongly, as did pubs and restaurants, with both aided by the hot weather."

Sunny weather may have contributed to the UK's positive economic outlook
Sunny weather may have contributed to the UK's positive economic outlook. Picture: Getty

The ONS also says the good weather may have been a factor in the surprisingly positive figure.

"There was anecdotal evidence from the monthly business survey that suggested good weather and an increase in live events boosted turnover for business in June," the ONS said.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says the figures show the government's plan is working.

"The UK economy is resilient. The world is going through a rough patch, but the IMF say that we’ll grow faster than France, Germany and Italy in the coming years," he said.

"We’re laying the foundations for a strong economy, and once we get inflation down, we’ll see the fruits of that."

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Getty

Labour, on the other hand, said the figures show the UK economy is on the floor.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: "GDP figures show growth in the economy is still on the floor.

"Thirteen years of Tory economic mismanagement has left Britain worse off and trapped in a low growth, high tax cycle.

"Labour’s plan for the economy will boost growth, increase wages and bring down bills."