British GDP suffered a record contraction of 9.9% in 2020 due to the pandemic

A British flag hangs from a building on Ludgate Hill in central London on January 12, 2021

© Justin Tallis
A British flag hangs from a building on Ludgate Hill in central London on January 12, 2021

Britain’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 9.9% in 2020, an unprecedented drop, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that paralyzed entire sectors for months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday.

In the fourth quarter, the UK economy grew 1.0% after the 16.1% advance recorded in the third quarter.

From October to December “there was an increase in the activity of services, production and construction, although it continued to be below pre-pandemic levels,” explained the ONS.

According to the entity, this is the largest annual decline recorded since these statistics began to be made and the fall in GDP last year was more than double that registered in 2009, due to the financial crisis.

In November, the lockdown in force in England and restrictions in other British regions caused GDP to fall again by 2.3%.

The closure of bars, restaurants, hotels and other services added to the stoppage of companies related to art and leisure have had a significant negative weight on the economy.

Christmas shopping and the easing of part of the restrictions at the beginning of December managed to slightly boost the economy and the goods and services sector, although the restrictions returned in the second half of the month and with them, the negative figures.

“Although there are some important signs of the economy’s resilience during the winter, we see that the current lockdown,” which has continued in January and February and is joined by the closure of schools, “continues to have a significant impact. in many people and in many companies, “British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

The official announced that in early March he will detail measures to support employment and the economy “in the next phase of the pandemic.”


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