UK gross domestic product jumped by 2.3% month-on-month in April as lockdown restrictions eased, its sharpest increase since last July, and was up by a record 27.6% on a year earlier, writes Ian McConnell.

The record year-on-year rise reflects the fact that the UK was in full lockdown throughout April last year.

The growth this April was driven by a 3.4% month-on-month rise in services sector output.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club think-tank, said: “Following a first-quarter GDP contraction, the economy looks well on course for a very healthy rebound in the second quarter given reduced restrictions and the ongoing successful roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines.”

Mr Archer, who is predicting a 5% quarter-on-quarter rise in UK GDP in the three months to June, said: “Consumers look well-placed to play a leading role in the UK recovery thanks to the recent high savings ratios, especially as it now looks likely that unemployment will have a much lower peak than had been expected. The jobs situation has been helped by the recent resilience of the labour market, the development of a robust recovery, and the extension of the furlough scheme to September.”