Britain’s economy has suffered the largest monthly contraction on record as the coronavirus sent vast swathes of the country into shutdown, new figures show.
Official figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday show that gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 20.4 per cent in April compared to March.
That marks the largest monthly fall since records began in 1997.
The latest data is the first to cover a full month of the coronavirus lockdown, the impact of the curbs on many aspects of ordinary life had “led to a significant fall in consumer demand and business and factory closures, as well as supply chain disruptions“ the ONS remarked.
The GDP plunge of more than a fifth was, the stats body said, “the month, the largest fall since monthly records began in 1997”.
Making clear the scale of the economic downturn, the ONS added: “The monthly decline in GDP in April 2020 is three times greater than the fall experienced during the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn.