UK GDP dropped by 19.1% during lockdown
The UK’s GDP fell by 19.1% in the three months to May this year during the lockdown period.
The latest statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the UK’s economy rebounded at a slower rate than expected in May, growing by just 1.8% from the month before as the lockdown restrictions were gradually eased.
Manufacturing and house building showed signs of recovery in May as some firms saw staff return to work but the economy on the whole was “in the doldrums”, the ONS said.
As a result of significant contractions in previous months, the UK economy is now 24.5% smaller than it was in February. The 1.8% GDP increase in May came after a decline of 6.9% in March and a record fall of 20.4% in April.
Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said: “The economy was still a quarter smaller in May than in February, before the full effects of the pandemic struck.
“In the important services sector, we saw some pick-up in retail, which saw record online sales. However, with lockdown restrictions remaining in place, many other services remained in the doldrums, with a number of areas seeing further declines.”
Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, added: “The bounce-back from COVID-19 has got off to a disappointing start. The pace of activity will have picked up sharply in June as the easing of the lockdown got underway. The chances of a quick return to normal, of the famed V-shaped recovery, are falling.
“It is likely to take years, not months, to repair the damage to the economy done by COVID-19.”
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