LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s economy shrank by a record 19.8 percent in the second quarter, entering recession on the coronavirus lockdown, but the contraction was less severe than first thought, official data showed Wednesday.
“UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have contracted by 19.8 percent in Quarter 2 (April to June) 2020, revised from the initial estimate of a 20.4-percent fall,” the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.
As the Covid-19 pandemic raged, Britain officially entered recession in the second quarter, after gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by a downwardly-revised 2.5 percent in the first quarter.
The technical definition of a recession is two quarterly contractions in a row.
“It is clear that the UK is in the largest recession on record,” the ONS concluded, noting that the coronavirus pandemic sparked record declines in economic activity around the world in the second quarter.
More than 42,000 people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have died in Britain, the worst death toll in Europe.