The UK has officially fallen into the deepest recession since records began as figures have shown the nation’s economy has shrunk more than any other nation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Office For National Statistics (ONS) has reported the UK’s economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first free months of the year – which is “the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.”
The coronavirus pandemic has played a massive role in the slump, with people spending less as shops were forced to close, and the output from factories and construction was reduced too.
Jonathan Athow, ONS’ deputy national statistician, said: “The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.
“The economy began to bounce back in June, with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and house-building continuing to recover.
“Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.
“Overall, productivity saw its largest-ever fall in the second quarter. Hospitality was worst hit, with productivity in that industry falling by three-quarters in recent months.”
Speaking to Sky News, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I said (months ago) hard times were coming and today’s numbers show that hard times are here.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their job and many more will.
“What I would say though is difficult decisions do lie ahead for all of us but I want to reassure people we will get through this and nobody will be left without hope and opportunity.”