THE UK economy shrank by 2 per cent in the first quarter of this year amid the coronavirus crisis.
It's the worst quarter fall since the height of the financial crash at the end of 2008, shocking new statistics show.
Meanwhile, the economy plunged 5.8 per cent in March as businesses shut down and Brits were furloughed, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.
The latest figures show the first direct effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK economy after the country was placed in lockdown to control the spread of the virus.
But with the lockdown only coming into place on March 23, the full hit on the economy won't show until the second quarter's results are revealed.
Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said: "With the arrival of the pandemic, nearly every aspect of the economy was hit in March, dragging growth to a record monthly fall.
"Services and construction saw record declines on the month with education, car sales and restaurants all falling substantially."
He added: "The pandemic also hit trade globally, with UK imports and exports falling over the last couple of months, including a notable drop in imports from China."
More to follow…
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