UK plunges into worst recession in recent history


Boris Johnson’s government has assumed that the United Kingdom is on its way to the worst recession in its recent history, after the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded a 2% drop in the first quarter of the year, the largest drop since 2008, according to data released yesterday by the National Statistics Office. It is not a record figure and falls below the 3% recently suggested by the Bank of England. In any case, in March, the month that confinement began, the drop was 5.8%.

Britain’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, anticipated that the country is “very likely” to face a “significant recession” this year because of the Covid-19. “A recession is defined in technical terms as two quarters of reduced GDP. We have seen one now with only a few days of impact (in March) from the virus, so it is very likely that the UK economy will face a significant recession this year,” he said.

Compared with the same quarter last year, GDP fell by 1.6% between January and March 2020, the largest drop since the fourth quarter of 2009, according to ONS data. According to the agency, there was a general alteration in economic activity in the first quarter, especially because the services sector, the economic lungs of the United Kingdom, fell by 1.9%, although those of industry and construction also suffered a contraction, of 2.1% and 2.6%, respectively.

Once the effects of the pandemic are accounted for during April, there will be a clearer perception of the immense damage the coronavirus has done to the UK economy.

The worst is yet to come.


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