The three surveys collectively point to GDP growing at a rate of 0.6 percent at the start of the second quarter, which would be a considerable improvement on the preliminary official GDP estimate for the first quarter of 0.3 percent.
A sharp rise in inflation driven by a steep fall in sterling on foreign exchange markets in the wake of the Brexit referendum vote in June last year has seen import prices rise along with commodities prices for manufacturers.
The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for British services sector in April reported strong growth on Thursday, rising 0.8 points to 55.8, a level at the top end of recent figures.
British service providers experienced a sustained rebound in business activity in April, supported by the fastest upturn in new work this year.
Job creation also rose to a four-month high, driven by renewed pressures on operating capacity. A strong pace of input cost inflation persisted, which contributed to the steepest rise in prices charged by service sector firms since July 2008.
The BoE and the International Monetary Fund forecast growth of 2.0 percent this year before a modest slowdown in 2018. Most private-sector economists see weaker growth this year.
Britain’s dominant services sector grew 0.3 percent in the first quarter, the weakest rate in two years, after growth of 0.8 percent in late 2016, the ONS said. Industrial output also rose 0.3 percent while construction expanded by 0.2 percent.
The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of Britain’s giant services industry unexpectedly rose to a four-month high of 55.8 in April, above all the forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists.
The reading was the second strongest since mid-2015, a good backdrop for May and her Conservative Party who are trying to convince voters that the opposition Labour Party cannot be trusted to run the economy after the June 8 election.
The BoE is widely expected to keep interest rates at their record low throughout this year and possibly until 2019 as it steers the British economy through the uncertainty linked to the exit from the European Union.
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