ONS: Economy contracted at fastest rate for a decade in Q1

Ryan Fowler

May 13, 2020

The UK economy has contracted by 2% in the first quarter of 2020, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

This includes a decline of 5.7% in March – this represents the fastest contraction in more than a decade. Overall the services sector fell by 1.9%, production by 2.1% and construction by 2.6%.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said: “With the arrival of the pandemic nearly every aspect of the economy was hit in March, dragging growth to a record monthly fall.

“Services and construction saw record declines on the month with education, car sales and restaurants all falling substantially.

“Although very few industries saw growth, there were some that did including IT support and the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, soaps and cleaning products.

“The pandemic also hit trade globally, with UK imports and exports falling over the last couple of months, including a notable drop in imports from China.”

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