The UK is in an official COVID-19 recession after GDP plunged 20.4% in Q2

 

UK GDP Q2 recession ONS chart

A chart by the UK’s Office for National Statistics, published August 12, showing a sharp Q2 decline in UK GDP.

Offices for National Statistics


  • The United Kingdom has entered a recession for the first time in 11 years due to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the economy.
  • Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that from April to June, GDP plunged 20.4%
  • The figures marked a second consecutive quarter of contraction, the technical definition of a recession.
  • The economy began to rebound in June after lockdown restrictions were relaxed, but is still in deep trouble.
  • It is the UK’s deepest ever recession.
  • UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I’ve said before that hard times were ahead, and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here.”
  • The neighboring Eurozone is also in recession, which was announced in late July.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The UK is in an official recession, the country’s statistics authority confirmed on Wednesday.

GDP fell by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, the biggest fall on record, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The fall marks the second consecutive quarter of retraction, a widely-used definition of a recession.

It is a stark sign of the economic ruin caused the the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown measures used to combat it.

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, said: “I’ve said before that hard times were ahead, and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here. Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.

“But while there are difficult choices to be made ahead, we will get through this, and I can assure people that nobody will be left without hope or opportunity.”

UK GDP began to contract sharply in late March, when COVID-19 began to spread rapidly in the population, and the government imposed sweeping lockdown measures in response.

Although most of the impact was not registered in the Q1 figures due to the timing, UK GDP still fell 2.2% in Q1 2020, setting the stage for the much sharper fall in Q2.

Statistics released on July 31 from the Eurozone — which includes economies like France, Spain, and Italy — showed that the bloc was also in an official recession, reporting a 12.1% fall in its Q2 GDP.

The US economy too is in recession and has been since February, according to its statistics authority.

As Business Insider reported, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared a recession in early June.

However, the bureau does not use the two-consecutive-quarters definition for recession, and instead counts anything considered to be a “significant decline” in economic output.

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