UK economy shrinks by record 20.4pc

UK economy
The UK economy grew by just 0.2 percent, according to the ONS.

The latest figures have shown that the UK economy has shrunk by a record-breaking 20.4% after a full month in lockdown.

The Office for National Statistics figures showed that for the month of April, Britain has undergone a crash three times greater than the 2008 financial crash.

Analysts have predicted that April will be the worst month due to the strictest lockdown rules.

“April’s fall in GDP is the biggest the UK has ever seen, more than three times larger than last month and almost 10 times larger than the steepest pre-Covid-19 fall,” said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, remains positive and has said that the figures are not surprising and in line with other countries. With restrictions easing on Monday, things are on the path to recovery.

“We’ve set out our plan to gradually and safely reopen the economy. Next week, more shops on the high street will be able to open again as we start to get our lives a little bit more back to normal,” said Sunak.

The hardest-hit sector during the month of April was air transport, which shrank by 92.8% as planes were grounded. In response to the hit, the UK’s three biggest airlines are launching legal action over the government’s new quarantine rules. 

Production also saw a decline by 20.3%, over double the collapse recorded during the miners’ strikes and the biggest fall since records began in 1968.

Responding to the figures, Boris Johnson said he was “not surprised.”

“We’ve always been in no doubt this was going to be a very serious public health crisis but also have big, big economic knock-on effects. The UK is heavily dependent on services, we’re a dynamic creative economy, we depend so much on human contact. We have been very badly hit by this.”