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UK economy suffers joint-biggest slump since 1979

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Britain’s economy suffered an even more bruising blow from Covid-19 than previously thought.

UK GDP shrank by 2.2% in the first quarter of 2020, according to updated figures from The Office for National Statistics. That’s down from a previous estimate of a 2% decline — and is the joint-worst quarter since Margaret Thatcher was settling into Downing Street.

The ONS says UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms fell by 2.2% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020, revised downwards by 0.2 percentage points from the first quarterly estimate; this is now the joint largest fall in UK GDP since Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 1979.

When compared with the same quarter a year ago, UK GDP decreased by 1.7% in Quarter 1 2020, a downward revision of 0.1 percentage points from the previous estimate.

This release captures the first direct effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the government measures taken to reduce transmission of the virus.

The services, production and construction sectors provided a negative contribution to growth in the output approach to GDP in Quarter 1 2020; with services output falling by a record 2.3% in the latest quarter.




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