UK officially goes into recession as coronavirus crisis sees economy collapse

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Britain has plunged into recession after the coronavirus crisis saw the economy contract by a record amount.

The economy shrank by 20.4% between April and June, the Office for National Statistics has said.

It was the largest contraction reported by any major economy so far, official figures showed on Wednesday.

The data also showed the world's sixth-biggest economy entered a recession as it shrank for a second quarter in a row.

There were signs of a recovery in the month of June alone when gross domestic product grew by 8.7% from May.

"The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record," Jonathan Athow of the Office for National Statistics said.

"The economy began to bounce back in June. Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck."

A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP).

But monthly figures showed the economy bounced back by 8.7% in June, following upwardly revised growth of 2.4% in May, as lockdown restrictions eased.

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Despite the growth the ONS said the economy is still a long way off from recovering the record falls seen in March and April after tumbling into "the largest recession on record".

In response to the bombshell news shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds tweeted: "We've already got the worst excess death rate in Europe – now we're on course for the worst recession too.

"That's a tragedy for our country and it's happening on the PM's watch.

"A downturn was inevitable after lockdown – Johnson's jobs crisis wasn't."

  • Coronavirus
  • Money

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