Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 51823
Publish Date: 19:38 - 13 May 2021
Thursday, 13 May 2021_The UK’s economy shrank by 1.5 percent between January and March as nationwide lockdown measures continued to weigh on activity, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

UK economy shrinks 1.5% in first quarter amid Covid lockdownsThe first quarter slump was lower than expected, with GDP increasing by a higher-than-anticipated 2.1 percent in March, showed the data provided by the ONS on Wednesday.

The reopening of schools and strong retail sales helped growth in that month in spite of Covid-19 restrictions still being in place.

The construction sector and manufacturing also grew by 5.8 percent and 2.1 percent respectively in March.

However, the first quarter results still show an 8.7 percent decrease from pre-coronavirus levels, the ONS data showed.

According to the data, the economy shrank by 2.5 percent in January, before growing by 0.7 percent in February.

Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics, said, “The strong recovery seen in March, led by retail and the return of schools, was not enough to prevent the UK economy contracting over the first quarter as a whole, with the lockdown affecting much of the services sector.

“However, construction grew strongly over the quarter and, in March, was above its pre-pandemic level.

“Manufacturing also recovered from an initial fall, increasing strongly in February and March, as businesses continued to adapt and make themselves Covid-19 secure.”

Also, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, "Despite a difficult start to this year, economic growth in March is a promising sign of things to come.

"Even with this positive news, we know that many businesses and people still need our help, and that's why I want to reassure everyone today that our plan for jobs will continue to create, support and protect jobs in the coming months."

Based on the latest ONS figures, the impact of restrictions on the economy appears to have been much smaller than during the first lockdown last year when GDP contracted by 19.5% over the April-June period.

Overall, 2020 saw GDP shrink by nearly 10%, the worst decline for three centuries.

Meanwhile, Alpesh Paleja, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) business group’s lead economist, said higher spending was possible in the summer but warned that some sectors and households would have a slower recovery than others.

“A range of indicators, including CBI business surveys, point to a rebound in activity heading into summer – with the economy opening up and pent-up demand waiting to be unleashed.

“But this is a recovery that will be felt more by some. Undoubtedly, hardest-hit sectors and households have a longer road ahead.”

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