The number of UK sectors reporting output growth rose to pre-pandemic levels for the first-time during April, according to the latest Lloyds Bank UK Recovery Tracker, as the third national lockdown restrictions began to be lifted.
The output of all of the 14 UK sectors monitored by the tracker increased in April, up from 11 in March, and for the first time since August 2018.
During April, the output of UK tourism and recreation (51.9) businesses rose for the first time since August last year, following the reopening of outdoor dining at pubs and restaurants.
Hospitality businesses also cited a spike in forward bookings in anticipation of lockdown measures easing further.
Similarly, the real estate (53.6) sector also returned to growth during April as firms benefited from offices reopening and favourable conditions in the residential property market.
Manufacturers of technology equipment (67.7) and metals and mining products (66.3) recorded the strongest output growth for the second month in a row during April.
A reading above 50 signals output is rising, while a reading below 50 indicates output is contracting.
Jeavon Lolay, head of economics and market insight, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The UK’s recovery seems to have moved into the fast lane.
“The latest lifting of lockdown restrictions will only fuel a further boost to the already rapid pace of expansion at the start of this quarter.
“It’s no surprise that business optimism for the year ahead is strongest in consumer services on hopes that the re-opening of the economy will lead to a sharp rebound in demand.
“However, it will also be very interesting to see how UK manufacturers address ongoing supply chain strains as concerns about inflation continue to build.”