Official figures show that the UK’s economy shrank by more than 20% in the second quarter of this year as the effect of COVID-19 measures pushed the country into a recession.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said economic output measured by gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 20.3% from April to the end of June, after a 2.2% decline in the first three months of the year.
Two quarters of negative growth is the technical definition of a recession, meaning that the UK has now entered into a recession for the first time in 11 years.
There were record falls in services, production and construction output in the second quarter, with industries most exposed to government restrictions hardest hit. Construction output plummeted by 35%, while spending dropped by more than 23%.
There were signs of a pick-up in June, however, as restrictions eased. GDP increased by 8.7% compared with May, according to separate ONS figures, as shops reopened, factories began to ramp up production, and housebuilding continued to recover.
“Despite this, GDP in June still remains one-sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck,” the statistics body said.