Britain's economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 2.1% in March from February, gathering speed for what is expected to be a sharp bounce-back this year after its deep coronavirus slump of 2020, official data showed on Wednesday.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected monthly growth of 1.3%.
In the first three months of 2021, when the country was under a third coronavirus lockdown, gross domestic product shrank by 1.5%, the Office for National Statistics said, in line with the Bank of England's latest forecast.
The BoE also said last week it expected the world's fifth-biggest economy would recover quickly as coronavirus restrictions are lifted to grow by 7.25% in 2021 as a whole.
"Despite a difficult start to this year, economic growth in March is a promising sign of things to come," British finance minister Rishi Sunak said.
"As we cautiously reopen the economy, I will continue to take all the steps necessary to support our recovery."