The UK economy rebounded by more than expected in January, driven by growth in the services sector, according to official statistics published ahead of the Budget next week.
Gross domestic product rose 0.3 per cent between December and January, following a contraction in the previous month, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday.
This was higher than the 0.1 per cent expansion forecast by economists polled by Reuters.
The services sector rose 0.5 per cent, propelled by education, transport and storage, and human health activities.
However, output was still 0.2 per cent below its level in February 2020 and unchanged from January 2022, reflecting the negative impact of high inflation and rising interest rates on household finances.
The figures were published ahead of chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s first Budget on March 15.