UK plunges into largest recession on record

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Britain has officially entered into the deepest recession on record after figures showed the coronavirus pandemic sent the economy plunging by 20.4 per cent between April and June.

It is the first time the UK has gone into recession since the financial crisis 11 years ago.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed the economic nosedive after the record-breaking contraction in the second quarter, which follows a 2.2 per cent fall in the previous three months.

A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP).

Monthly figures showed the economy bounced back by 8.7 per cent in June, following upwardly revised growth of 2.4 per cent in May, as lockdown restrictions eased.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said: “The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

“The economy began to bounce back in June, with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and house-building continuing to recover.

“Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.

According to economist Thomas Pugh, the silver lining is that the recession is “pretty much already over”.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, he added: “We’re now firmly in the recovery phase, but having said that, we think that it’s going to take a lot longer to recover…at least another 18 months to two years potentially.”

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