UK economy suffers worst quarterly slump since 1979

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London

Britain’s economy has suffered its biggest quarterly contraction for more than 40 years as the coronavirus pandemic slashed activity, revised official data showed Tuesday.
Gross domestic product shrank 2.2 percent in the first quarter, or January-March period, compared with the prior three months, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement giving a second estimate. The initial figure given by the ONS showed a GDP contraction of 2.0 percent in the first quarter, or worst reading since the global financial crisis in 2008. Second-quarter data will show the full impact of coronavirus because Britain’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown was only imposed on March 23. Recent official figures had showed UK economic activity crashed by a record 20.4 percent in April. “Our more detailed picture of the economy in the first quarter showed… the largest quarterly fall since (the third quarter of) 1979,” said ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow. —AFP