UK economy shrinks by a quarter in April

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The UK suffered its largest ever recorded fall in economic activity as GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April 2020.

Record falls were seen across all sectors:

  • services fell 9.9% – the largest monthly fall since records began in 1997.
  • manufacturing fell 10.5% – largest monthly fall since series began in 1968
  • construction fell 18.2% – largest monthly fall since series began in 2010

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.

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“Virtually all areas of the economy were hit, with pubs, education, health and car sales all giving the biggest contributions to this historic fall.

“Manufacturing and construction also saw significant falls, with manufacture of cars and housebuilding particularly badly affected.

“The UK’s trade with the rest of the world was also badly affected by the pandemic, with large falls in both the import and export of cars, fuels, works of art and clothing.”


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