The United Kingdom economy has suffered its biggest slump on record between April and June as coronavirus lockdown measures pushed the country officially into recession.
The country’s economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year as household spending plunged due to the order of shops to close, while factory and construction output also fell.
This pushed the UK into its first technical recession which is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline since 2009.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the government was “grappling with something that is unprecedented” and that it was “a very difficult and uncertain time”.
However, Chancellor Anneliese Dodds blamed Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the scale of the economic decline, saying; “A downturn was inevitable after lockdown but Johnson’s jobs crisis wasn’t”.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy bounced back in June as government restrictions on movements started to ease.
On a month-on-month basis, the economy grew by 8.7% in June, after a growth of 1.8% in May.
Jonathan Athow, Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics, said; “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.
Business groups urged the government to do more to support the economic recovery.