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UK suffered worst economic fall since 1979 at start of lockdown

A woman walks a boarded up shop in Camden on June 28, 2020 in London, England

Between January and March the economy contracted by more than first thought, dropping 2.2%, the Office for National Statistics has said (Picture: Getty)

The UK economy shrank by the fastest pace since 1979 in the first quarter of 2020 as coronavirus saw the country forced into lockdown.

Between January and March, the economy contracted by more than first thought, dropping 2.2%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said: ‘Our more detailed picture of the economy in the first quarter showed GDP shrank a little more than first estimated. This is now the largest quarterly fall since 1979.

‘Information from Government showed health activities declined more than we previously showed. All main sectors of the economy shrank significantly in March as the effects of the pandemic hit.

‘The sharp fall in consumer spending at the end of March led to a notable increase in households’ savings.’

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Previously, ONS found the economy shrank by 2% in the first quarter of the year – the fastest pace since the financial crisis in 2008. It has now revised that figure.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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