Coronavirus Pandemic Slumps UK Economy by a Record 5.8%

Indeed global breakout of coronavirus has taken a toll in each economy globally, every economy has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another some affected more than others. This is generally captured by how various sectors in economies are performing dismally further seeking bailouts if they are to resume normal operations.

The office for National Statistics in Britain released statistics on how the deadly pandemic has affected the UK since it kicked in the country.

Going by the data, Britain’s economy slumped by a record 5.8% in the period February to March, it’s during this time frame when spread of coronavirus was increasing rapidly in the country prompting the government to shut down a lot of operations in Britain.

In the first quarter of the year ending March 31, Gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 2% in comparison to that of the previous quarter. This decline was however relatively lower compared to the 2.5% expected by analysts.

This was the greatest quarter-to-quarter decline posted by the country since 2008 during the world financial crisis. On a more positive note, the GDP was again way lower than the average 3.8% GDP decline posted in the Euro zone in the first quarter of the year.

According to head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, Suren Thiru, these numbers might increase further in April because Britain residents spend the whole month under lockdown meaning country’s output declined more.

The speed and scale at which coronavirus has hit the UK economy is unprecedented and means that the Q1 decline is likely to be followed by a further, more historically significant, contraction in economic activity in Q2,” said Thiru.

Ruth Gregory, an economist with Capital Economics, says released data indicates Britain’s economy has been plunging significantly due to the pandemic.

Given that the economy was growing a quarterly rate of about 0.1% before the lockdown, today’s release therefore implies that economic activity after the lockdown was imposed on March 23 was down a whopping 21%,” said the economist.

A week before the data was released, the Bank of England announced the country’s economy may be headed for its largest GDP decline in 300 years. The bank said GDP could slump by up to 14% but rise again by 15% in 2021.

 

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