UK economy shrinks by 20% in April thanks to coronvirus lockdown

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THE UK economy shrank by 20 per cent in April thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, fresh figures have revealed.

GDP tumbled again last month following a fall of 5.8 per cent in March – meaning it decreased by a quarter in just two months.

The economy fell by the largest drop in a single month

The drop is the single monthly fall since records began in 1997, the Office for National Statistics said this morning.

And it’s ten times larger than the steepest drop in GDP that was recorded before Covid hit the world.

Record falls were also seen across all sectors:

  • services – largest monthly fall since series began in 1997
  • production – largest monthly fall since series began in 1968
  • manufacturing – largest monthly fall since series began in 1968
  • construction – largest monthly fall since series began in 2010

Jonathan Athow, Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics, said today: “April’s fall in GDP is the biggest the UK has ever seen, more than three times larger than last month and almost ten times larger than the steepest pre-covid-19 fall.

“In April the economy was around 25 per cent smaller than in February.

“Virtually all areas of the economy were hit, with pubs, education, health and car sales all giving the biggest contributions to this historic fall.

“Manufacturing and construction also saw significant falls, with manufacture of cars and housebuilding particularly badly affected.

“The UK’s trade with the rest of the world was also badly affected by the pandemic, with large falls in both the import and export of cars, fuels, works of art and clothing.”

There are fears that millions could lose their jobs thanks to the ongoing crisis.

 

Britain’s furlough scheme has helped people and businesses stay afloat throughout the nationwide lockdown, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to wind is down in October.

From August employers will ave to stay paying towards the scheme.

But many shops, restaurants and hotels are still closed for now.

Non-essential stores are set to reopen next week, which should see some economic activity bounce back.