The UK economy suffered its biggest slump in more than 3 centuries in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the economy.
The pandemic closed shops and restaurants, devastated the travel industry and curtailed manufacturing.
The economy shrank 9.9 per cent last year. Which is more than twice the figure for 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. The drop is the largest since 1709. That was when a cold spell- Great Frost -devastated what was then a largely agricultural economy.
The slump came after a historic recession at the start of the year, caused by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in February and March. The economy began to rebound in the third quarter. But remains 7.8% smaller than it was at the end of 2019, the ONS said.
The annual slump wiped out seven years of growth, taking the UK economy back to when it was in 2013. The ONS said the UK economy did recover slightly, recording 1% of growth in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“Today’s figures show that the economy has experienced a serious shock as a result of the pandemic, which has been felt by countries around the world,” Chancellor Rishi Sunak said.
“While there are some positive signs of the economy’s resilience over the winter, we know that the current lockdown continues to have a significant impact on many people and businesses.”
Control on the pandemic is becoming critical for our recovery. However, speedy rollout of vaccines gives us some hope. But the businesses will need support to run with restrictions until the stop-start cycle of lockdowns end.
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