Royal Wedding 2018

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Look ahead to GDP growth

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Getty Images
The royal wedding was a highlight of the second quarter

On Friday, the Office for National Statistics will publish its first estimate for UK GDP growth during the second quarter.

GDP is expected to reach 0.4% between April and June compared to just 0.2% in the first quarter.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says the second quarter has been much brighter thanks to good weather, the royal wedding and the World Cup.

But he says: "If tomorrow’s growth number proves disappointing, the Bank of England could find some pretty instant egg on its face after its decision to raise interest rates last week.

"However the main indicators suggest a rebound from the weak first quarter is on the cards. One quarter’s reading is of course a fairly brief snapshot. Looking at the bigger picture, UK economic growth is still way below the gains we were used to before the financial crisis."

Blog: Getting a little better, pretty slowly

Kamal Ahmed

Economics editor

Royal Wedding

Today’s economic growth figures for May reveal that the “bounce back” from the weather related misery of the first three months of the year is small, though not insignificant.

The services sector – which accounts for 80% of our economy - is stronger.

Construction activity was also up by 2.9% compared with the previous month – although we must always take care with monthly figures which can tend to be volatile.

This morning’s retail sales figures from the British Retail Consortium also revealed a pick up. We are all doing a bit more shopping.

The Royal Wedding and sunny weather are doing their bit now in the way the snow and frost depressed February and March.

There is little in today’s figures that will surprise the Bank of England, which is contemplating increasing interest rates next month.

It predicted a “bounce back” earlier in the year.

And against a subdued background, there is evidence today that is happening.