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UK GDP Up 0.3% In May; Trade Deficit Narrows

UK gross domestic product grew in the month of May after a decline in April, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Wednesday.

GDP rose 0.3 percent month-on-month in May following a 0.4 percent decline in April. The expansion was in line with economists' expectations. In March, GDP edged up 0.1 percent.

However, the rolling three-month growth slowed to 0.3 percent in the quarter to May from 0.4 percent in the three months to April. Economists had forecast 0.1 percent expansion. In the January to March period, the growth was 0.5 percent.

The monthly growth in May was largely driven by a 1.4 percent expansion each in industrial production and manufacturing after declines in April.

Industrial production grew 1.4 percent monthly in May following a revised 2.9 percent slump in April, thus equaling the gain logged in March.

Manufacturing grew 1.4 percent from April, when it plunged 4.2 percent. In March, output grew 1.6 percent.

Economists had forecast 1.5 percent growth in industrial production and a 2.2 percent gain in manufacturing in May.

The index of services was unchanged from April, when it edged up 0.1 percent. Economists had expected the modest growth to continue.

The construction output rose 0.6 percent in May after declines of 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent in April and March.

Separate data from the ONS showed that the UK visible trade deficit narrowed to GBP 11.524 billion in May from GBP 12.761 billion in April. Economists had expected a shortfall of GBP 12.500 billion.

The non-EU trade deficit fell to GBP 4.905 billion from GDP 5.255 billion, but was slightly larger than the GBP 4.600 billion economists had forecast.

The total trade deficit shrunk to GBP 2.324 billion from GBP 3.716 billion in April. Economists had expected a shortfall of GBP 3.200 billion.

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