Economy contracts in April, figures show

Statistics from the Office for National Statistics show a 0.3% contraction in GDP over April 2022.

For the first time since January 2021, April was the first month that all sectors contributed to the decrease. This contraction follows a further 0.1% drop in March of this year.

A major contributor to this was the decline of the NHS test and trace program once tests stopped being free, representing a 70% drop in use and causing a 0.5% drop in GDP.

Manufacturing, services and production all fell with many firms attributing this to the soaring costs of energy and gas. Firms also reported having to pay more for materials.

Although GDP shrank, some believe the economy is on the road to recovery.

Kitty Ussher, chief economist at the Institute for Directors (IOD) said:

"Although this headline figure is lower than expected, April's economic contraction is entirely due to the scaling back of the Government's test and trace activity. If that effect is removed the economy would have grown.

"In particular, businesses will take reassurance from the strong performance in retail sales and consumer-facing services in April following a wobble in March.

"Although headline consumer confidence remains low it seems many people are nevertheless keen to go out and enjoy their post pandemic freedoms."

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