Britain's economy grew by 0.3% in May driven by services

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A man takes a photograph of the Canary Wharf financial district from Greenwich Park in London, Britain, January 22, 2017.

The Office for National Statistics is expected to say the economy grew by as much as 0.3 per cent in the three months to the end of May.

The influential Purchasing Managers' Indices - monthly surveys of company executives - have also suggested that GDP for the second quarter of the year grew at twice the rate of the first three months.

The UK economy has started warming up after a winter freeze as activity in the services sector ticked up, compensating for a weaker performance in manufacturing.

However, the new monthly GDP estimate - which the government's statisticians caution is a more volatile measure - showed growth of 0.3 per cent during the month, up from 0.2 per cent in April, with the ONS crediting the royal wedding and warmer weather for a boost to retailers in particular.

The figures will give the Bank of England enough cover to raise rates, barring a continuation of the Conservative party's implosion, according to Jeremy Thomson-Cook, chief economist at Worldfirst. "We have seen a bounceback from the first quarter", he said.

Governor Mark Carney and other BoE officials opted not to raise rates in May because of the winter slowdown and made a decision to wait to be sure cold weather was to blame, not broader problems ahead of Britain's exit from the European Union next year.

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In annual terms, the economy was 1.5% bigger than in May a year ago, the ONS said.

The BoE is expected to raise rates by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent on August 2, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Over the three months to May, growth in the services sector - which makes up 80% of the economic output - picked up speed to 0.4% from 0.2%.

Services contributed 0.34 percentage points of growth, while manufacturing and construction fell back by 0.08 and 0.1 percentage points respectively.

There was better news from the construction industry, which had struggled in the bad weather of early 2018.

Separate data showed Britain's deficit in goods trade during May was broadly unchanged from April at 12.362 billion pounds ($16.37 billion).

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