18: April GDP - what do the numbers tell us?
The UK economy shrank in April for the second month running. GDP declined by 0.3%, adding to the 0.1% drop in March - with services, production, and construction all shrinking in April. The biggest fall was seen in production (0.6%), driven by a fall in manufacturing of 1% on the month, as businesses continue to report the impact of price increases and supply chain shortages.
The pound also fell against the dollar and UK stock markets tumbled this week after these gloomy April figures have shown the UK is edging closer to a recession.
Regular pay is falling at the fastest rate in more than a decade when taking into account rising prices, the Office for National Statistics has said. Between February and April, pay excluding bonuses was down 2.2% from a year earlier when adjusted for inflation.
Sam Beckett, head of economic statistics at the ONS, said a "high level of bonuses" was continuing to "cushion the effects of rising prices on total earnings for some workers". "But if you exclude bonuses, pay in real terms is falling at its fastest rate in over a decade..."