UK economy slumps into recession after record contraction in April

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The UK’s economy experienced the largest monthly contraction on record in April 2020, shrinking by 20.4%. 

The sharp fall in GDP came as the UK spent its first full month in lockdown to try and halt the spread of COVID-19.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said April’s decline was three times deeper than at any time during the previous economic downturn in 2008/09.

Analysts also published figures for the three months to April 2020, which showed a decline of 10.4%.

With lockdown being eased in May, however, April’s fall in GDP is likely to mark the bottom of the recession.

In May, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said “just a few days of impact from the coronavirus” in March put the economy into decline.

Two successive quarters of economic contraction class as a technical recession, which was confirmed last month.

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The economic turmoil caused by coronavirus is unparalleled and is likely to scar the UK economy for some time.”

“Having provided businesses life support, the Government must now figure out how to stimulate activity.”

“The Government must make good on its commitment to broaden existing tax reliefs for research and development.”

“Waiting until later in the year to act will risk more businesses and jobs being lost.”

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