The UK’s GDP fell by 20.4% in the month of April,the largest fall since monthly records began in 1997, reflecting record widespread falls in services, production and construction output

Figures out this morning from the Office of National Statistics show how the negative impacts of social distancing and “lockdown” have led to a significant fall in consumer demand and business and factory closures, as well as supply chain disruptions.

The monthly decline in GDP in April 2020 is three times greater than the fall experienced during the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn. During the global financial crisis, from the peak in February 2008 to the lowest point of March 2009, a total of 13 months, GDP contracted 6.9%.

Between March 2020 and April 2020, GDP has fallen by 20.4%, equivalent to a fall of approximately £30 billion in Gross Value Added.

Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said:

“This data confirms what we already knew – that the economy was hit hard as it entered lockdown. Our business surveys suggest that activity hasn’t fared much better since.

“The government has listened to business’ needs, and reflected them well in the schemes currently in place. Going forward, both the Job Retention Scheme and financing support programmes should remain agile and responsive to the evolving economic situation. This will leave us well placed to build an ambitious vision for our economic recovery, one that prioritises jobs, investment and tackling pre-crisis inequalities across our society.”

James Smith from the Think Tank Resolution Foundation says:

“Today we have clear evidence of the unprecedented shock to the economy.This shows the Government has been right to put in place extraordinary measures to protect people from this economic hit. Much more action will, however, to deliver a rapid recovery.“


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