UK GDP posts record 27.6% annual leap

The shops are open again and the streets have come back to life.

And the renewed activity is showing up in the UK's economic data.

Over the year to April the economy expanded by a record 27.6%.

Friday's (June 11) figures showed that it was services driving the gains.

That as non-essential retail and hospitality businesses reopened after months of closure.

The numbers are raising hopes for a sustained rebound.

Last month the Bank of England raised its forecast for growth this year to 7.25%.

That's up from earlier estimates of 5%.

If confirmed, it would be the fastest pace of expansion since 1941, when Britain was rearming during World War Two.

For all that though, output remained 3.7% below pre-crisis levels.

Now future prospects may rest on whether the government can lift all remaining restrictions.

In England that was supposed to happen on June 21, but the move is now doubt amid soaring case numbers for a new virus variant.