The Office for National Statistics said the UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have fallen by a record 20.4% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020, marking the second consecutive quarterly decline after GDP fell by 2.2% in the previous quarter (Jan to Mar) 2020.
This plunged the UK into its first technical recession, defined as two straight quarters of economic decline since 2009.
Jonathan Athow, the deputy national statistician for economic statistics, said the economy bounced back in June after the monthly gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 8.7% following growth of 2.4% in May 2020, but it wasn’t enough to recover the lost output earlier in the year.
“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.”
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, the report said.
The construction sector was particularly badly hit, after building sites were shut down during the height of the lockdown.