UK economy sees surprise jump in May

STORY: Britain’s economy saw unexpected growth in May.

New figures released on Wednesday showed economic output expanded by 0.5%.

Economists had forecast zero growth in May from April.

The Office for National Statistics pointed to health services as a major driver of growth, driven by a rise in doctor appointments.

Road hauliers also had a busy month, while travel agencies fared well with pent-up demand for holidays.

Over the three months to May, GDP was up by 0.4%.

Britain’s new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi welcomed the signs of growth.

However, he said there was no room for complacency.

Despite concerns that Britain could fall into a recession later this year, the figures could reassure the Bank of England about its plans to keep on raising interest rates in August.

If it does, that would be the sixth rise since December.

Most of the candidates to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister say they will cut taxes to revive growth.

Former finance minster Rishi Sunak, seen as among the frontrunners in the race, says he wants to control inflation first.