Hospitality reopening helps economy grow, but GDP recovery slows

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

The return of indoor dining and drinking helped the UK economy grow in May for fourth consecutive month

Related tags: lockdown, Ons, Restaurant, Public house

The return of indoor dining and drinking helped the UK economy grow in May for the fourth consecutive month, but at a slower rate than earlier in the year, the latest figures from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.8% between April and May 2021 but remained 3.1% below its level in February 2020, which was the most recent month not affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The rise in GDP was led by a month-on-month increase of 0.9% in services, although this sector remained 3.4% below its February 2020 level, according to the ONS.

Food and beverage service activities saw strong growth, with a rise of 34% between April and May 2021, although output was still 9.4% below its February 2020 level. This growth was driven by pubs, bars and restaurants that could begin to serve customers indoors from 17 May.

Event catering and other food service activities also rose, as restrictions on large gatherings continued to ease.

The accommodation industry grew by 49% between April and May 2021 after lockdown restrictions were eased, although output was still 39% below its February 2020 level. This was driven by growth within hotel accommodations, says the ONS.

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