John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, comments on the latest UK GDP data:
"Today's first ever publication of monthly GDP data is a welcome innovation by the ONS. In particular it brings forward publication of data on the key services sector, moving this into line with that for industrial production and construction. This better reflects the shape of the modern UK economy where around 80% of GDP is accounted for by services.
"GDP growth in the three months to May was still relatively modest at 0.2% relative to the previous three months, but this is dragged down by the weak performance in March, when the bad weather caused GDP growth to fall to zero. Since then a revival in retail sales and other services sectors has led GDP growth to pick up steadily in April and May. Construction output also picked up strongly in May after a couple of weak months.
"As a result, we estimate that growth in the second quarter will end up at around 0.4%, given signs from business surveys of continued forward momentum in services and construction in June.
"This pick-up in growth could be enough to tip the majority of the MPC towards a rate rise in August, though this is not yet a done deal given continuing uncertainties over Brexit and rising global trade tensions."
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