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UK economy grows in May

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s economic output grew better-than-expected in May, official data showed Thursday, handing an early boost to the country’s newly-elected Labour government.

Gross domestic product growth came in at 0.4 per cent in May, which compared with flat GDP in April, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

Analysts’ consensus had been for growth of 0.2 per cent in May.

“Delivering economic growth is our national mission, and we don’t have a minute to waste,” Britain’s new finance minister Rachel Reeves said in response to Thursday’s data.

“A decade of national renewal has begun, and we are just getting started,” added Reeves, who became the country’s first female chancellor of the exchequer on her appointment by new Prime Minister Keir Starmer.

His centre-left Labour party last week won a resounding victory in Britain’s general election, ending 14 years of rule by the Conservatives.

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves (L) chairs a meeting of the National Wealth Fund Taskforce at 11 Downing Street in London on July 9, 2024. PHOTO: AFP