The UK economy fell by 20.4% in April due to coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The lockdown has paralysed business activity, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The record decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) completely eclipsed the previous record contraction of 5.8%, which ONS recorded in March.
The services sector fell by 19.0% in April. The service sector constitutes around 80% of the UK’s economic output. Industrial output also reduced by 20.3%.
There were also significant falls in the manufacturing and construction sectors, which decreased by 24.3% and 40.1% respectively. In addition, the pandemic has badly affected import and export, according to the ONS.
Some businesses began to reopen in May, so analysts expect April’s contraction to represent the worst of the impact.
In the three months to the end of April, the UK economy contracted by10.4%. ONS called it an ‘unprecedented’ fall as it affected nearly all industries.
Jonathan Athow, Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics at the ONS, 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.
‘Virtually all areas of the economy were hit, with pubs, education, health and car sales all giving the biggest contributions to this historic fall.’