LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s corona virus – stricken economy shrank by 9.9% in 2020, the biggest annual decline in production since the start of modern records, but statistics show that it avoided a recession late last year. Officers Friday.
Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.0% between October and December, according to the Office for National Statistics, at the top of the range for economists’ forecasts in a Reuters poll.
Although the economy has shrunk dramatically in early 2021 due to the effects of the third COVID lockout, it is unlikely that Britain will experience a two-quarter contraction in a row, the fixed definition of a recession in Europe.
After a 2.3% drop in production in November, the British economy grew by 1.2% in December alone, when there was a partial lockout, which was 6.3% lower than in February since the outbreak of the epidemic.
However, the Bank of England predicts that the economy will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021 due to a new lockout and Brexit breakdown, and that it will not be until early 2022 to regain its previous COVID levels. Vaccination continues without problems.
Many economists think the recovery will be slow.
“Today’s statistics show that the economy has been strongly impacted as a result of the epidemic, which has been felt by countries around the world,” Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said.
The decline in production last year was the largest since the beginning of modern official records after World War II, and the longest historical data conducted by the Bank of England that it was the largest since 1709.
Although Spain, which has been hit hardest by the virus, has seen an 11% drop, this fall is more pronounced than any other major economy.
Britain has reported the highest number of deaths in Europe since COVID-19 and the highest number of individual deaths in the world.
Some of the damage also reflects how the UK economy relied more directly on consumer services than other countries, as well as the disruption of education and regular health care accounted for by some other countries in GDP.
However, the UK has so far vaccinated more people than any other European country, raising the prospect of a recovery in its economy later this year.