UK reports world's largest economic contraction at 20.4%

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 12, 2020, 12.13 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in UK Photograph:( Reuters )

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The coronavirus induced lockdown rules were the harshest during this period

The economy of the United Kingdom shrank by a record 20.4 per cent between April and June 2020.

The coronavirus induced lockdown rules were the harshest during this period, and this marks the largest economic contraction reported across the world.

The figures, which were published on Wednesday also displayed the pattern of recession in the country, for it shrank for second quarter in a row. Britain has the world’s sixth largest economy.

Also read: UK suffers biggest job losses since 2009 as COVID hits

According to the Office for National Statistics, signs of recovery were seen in the month of June, when the country’s GDP grew by 8.7 per cent from May.

A Reuters poll from May predicted an 8 per cent growth in the economy, and this minimally surpassed it.

"The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record," Jonathan Athow, Office for National Statistics said.

"The economy began to bounce back in June... Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck”, Athow added.

Also read: UK might stop official Covid death count over claims of 'exaggeration', says report

As per the predictions made by the Bank of England, the country would need until 2021 for the economy to regain its previous size, and further warned of increasing unemployment rates in the country.

"Today's figures confirm that hard times are here," UK’s finance minister Rishi Sunak said. "Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will."

Compared to the last year, the level of output in June was 16.8 per cent lower, while in May it was 23.3 per cent lower.

In the first quarter of the year, British GDP shrank by 2.2 per cent, in view of the lockdown which was enforced in the country beginning March 24.