The UK is officially in a recession after newly released figures show that the nation suffered the largest economic contraction on record. The slump has been blamed on the government’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 20.4 percent between April and June, marking the second consecutive quarterly decline, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed on Wednesday. The plunge puts the United Kingdom into recession for the first time since 2009 and follows a 2.2 percent drop in GDP in January-March.
The UK’s quarterly GDP plunge is the largest in Europe and also outstripped the economic downturn in the United States.
The ONS said that the drop in GDP represents the largest quarterly losses in the UK economy since it began keeping records of the metric in 1955. The massive contraction “reflects the ongoing public health restrictions and forms of voluntary social distancing that have been put in place in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic,” the ONS stated.
The grim economic data comes a day after the UK posted the largest quarterly drop in employment in more than a decade.