Coronavirus

UK GDP slumped 19.1% in three months to May

GDP fell by 19.1% in the three months to May 2020, as government restrictions on movement dramatically reduced economic activity.

According to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), this was driven by falls in nearly every industry, most notably by food and beverage service activities, which fell by 69.3% as a result of the closure of bars and restaurants throughout March, April and May.

Despite this, GDP grew by 1.8% in May 2020, but is still “well below” the levels seen in February 2020.

The ONS said the level of output did not recover from the record falls seen in March and April 2020 and the measure has reduced by 24.5% compared with February 2020, before the full impact of the coronavirus.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said: “Manufacturing and house building showed signs of recovery as some businesses saw staff return to work. Despite this, 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 pickup 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.”

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