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British economy plunges into recession after record second-quarter fall



The British economy is in recession after contracting a record 20.4 per cent in the second quarter as the coronavirus crisis took hold, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday.

The quarterly contraction in the April-to-June period was the largest since 1955 when the agency began to keep quarterly records.

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 2.2 per cent in the first quarter, the ONS said.

The ONS said there were signs of improvement in June as government restrictions on movement began to ease.

“The economy began to bounce back in June, with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and house-building continuing to recover,” said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS.

Services, production and construction output saw record quarterly falls in the quarter, the agency said, noting “those industries that have been most exposed to government restrictions.”

Private consumption was down by over a quarter and government consumption also dropped.