İrem UZUN -TDO- The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Friday that the economy shrank by a colossal 20.4 percent in April, the first full month that the country was under lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. All areas of the economy were hit during the month, in particular pubs, education, health and car sales. It means the economy shrank by a fifth in size.
This monthly decline is three times greater than the fall experienced during the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn and was worse than economists had forecast. The figures show the huge task facing the UK economy as the government seeks to ease lockdown restrictions. Jonathan Athow, statistician for Economic Statistics, said: “April’s fall in GDP is the biggest the UK has ever seen, more than three times larger than last month and almost ten times larger than the steepest pre-covid-19 fall. In April the economy was around 25% smaller than in February."
Boris Johnson admitted: “We've always been in no doubt this was going to be a very serious public health crisis but also have big, big economic knock-on effects. I'm afraid I'm not surprised by the figures we have seen. The UK is heavily dependent on services, we're a dynamic creative economy, we depend so much on human contact”. That has raised concerns that the UK will see a spike in unemployment then.