GDP is estimated to have grown by 2.1% in March 2021 with the reopening of schools in parts of the UK, the fastest growth seen since August 2020, figures show.

According to the report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the service sector grew by 1.9% in March, the production sector by 1.8%, while manufacturing grew for a second consecutive month by 2.1%.

The construction sector grew by 5.8%, driven by growth in new work, repair and maintenance.

GDP remains 5.9% below the levels seen in February 2020 and 1.1% below the initial recovery level in October 2020, however.

Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics added:

"The strong recovery seen in March ... was not enough to prevent the UK economy contracting over the first quarter as a whole".

The quarterly contraction of 1.5% was due to "the lockdown affecting much of the services sector", he added.

The ONS also revised January and February's GDP figures from -2.2% to -2.5%, and 0.4% to 0.7% respectively.

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