UK officially in recession for first time in 11 years


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TOLGA AKMEN

The UK economy suffered its biggest slump on record between April and June as coronavirus lockdown measures pushed the country officially into recession.

The economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

Household spending plunged as shops were ordered to close, while factory and construction output also fell.

This pushed the UK into its first technical recession – defined as two straight quarters of economic decline – since 2009.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy bounced back in June as government restrictions on movement started to ease.

It said the hospitality sector was the hardest hit.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said: “The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and housebuilding continuing to recover.

“Despite this, gross domestic product (GDP) in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.”

Service sector slumps

The ONS said the collapse in output was driven by the closure of shops, hotels, restaurants, schools and car repair shops.

The services sector, which powers four-fifths of the economy, suffered the biggest quarterly decline on record.

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