Britain's GDP falls 20.4% in April as economy is paralysed by lockdown.

Britain’s economy shrank by a record 20.4% in April as the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown triggered an economic crash three times greater than the 2008 financial crisis.

Revealing the scale of the downturn, the official figures for gross domestic product (GDP) from the Office for National Statistics showed no area of the economy was left unscathed as the government imposed tight controls on business and social life to limit the spread of the disease.

The decline was the largest since comparable monthly records began in 1997 and was more than triple the previous record fall of 5.8% in March, when the lockdown was imposed late in the month.

The ONS said the monthly decline in April broke records across the board with all the main drivers of economic growth plunging into reverse, as people were told to stay at home to save lives, businesses were forced to close and millions of workers placed on furlough.

The country’s dominant services sector shrank by almost a fifth, fuelled by the closure of non-essential shops on the high street, pubs, restaurants and hotels, and evaporating car sales.

Air transport shrank by 92.8% in the biggest fall of any sector as flights were grounded across Britain and other countries. After the closure of hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants, the accommodation and food services sector shrank by 88% on the month.

Posted on Jun 11, 2020.

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