UK economy fared worse than feared in Q1

The UK economy contracted by 2.2% between January and March 2020 - 0.2% higher than official estimates for the first quarter.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revised down its previous estimate of a 2% fall in GDP after the main economic sectors declined.

Q1 2020 was the joint-third largest quarterly contraction in UK GDP and the joint-sharpest quarterly fall since Q3 1979.

Output in the services sector fared the worst, falling by a record 2.3% in the three months to 31 March 2020.

But the first-quarter slump reflects a large fall in output across all sectors in March, after the UK went into lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown only kicking in on 23 March 2020, the second quarter will show the full hit on the economy.

Recent ONS monthly figures showed the economy plummeted by 20.4% in April - the largest drop in a single month on record.

That contraction was three times greater than any decline seen during the whole of the 2008/09 economic downturn.

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