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Rishi Sunak sees ‘signs of resilience’ as UK economy suffers biggest drop since 1709

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Friday pointed to indicators of resilience and indicated additional help measures in his Budget assertion subsequent month as newest statistics confirmed the British economy suffered its biggest decline in additional than 300 years in 2020.

As most companies, retailers and eating places proceed to battle via the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) discovered that the economy shrank 9.9 per cent final yr, greater than twice the determine for 2009 on the top of the worldwide monetary disaster.

The dire figures are the worst since 1709, when a chilly spell recognized as the ‘Great Frost’ devastated what was then a largely agricultural economy in Britain.

“While there are some positive signs of the economy’s resilience over the winter, we know that the current lockdown continues to have a significant impact on many people and businesses,” stated Sunak, in response to the figures.

“Today’s figures show that the economy has experienced a serious shock as a result of the pandemic, which has been felt by countries around the world,” stated the senior Cabinet Minister, who promised new plans to guard jobs and bolster the economy when he delivers his Budget assertion within the House of Commons on March 3.

The ONS figures confirmed a fightback from the report quarterly hunch between April and June 2020, the second quarter, when GDP nosedived by 20 per cent as a consequence of the preliminary lockdown.

They additionally confirmed the prospect of a so-called double-dip recession was averted on the finish of the yr amid renewed lockdown circumstances, with a primary estimate for the October-December quarter displaying development of 1 per cent — a greater than anticipated efficiency.

‘Loosening of restrictions in lots of components of the UK noticed components of the economy get better some misplaced floor in December, with hospitality, automotive gross sales and hairdressers all seeing development,” stated Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy nationwide statistician for financial statistics.

“An increase in COVID-19 testing and tracing also boosted output. The economy continued to grow in the fourth quarter as a whole, despite the additional restrictions in November. However, GDP for the year fell by nearly 10 per cent, more than twice as much as the previous largest annual fall on record,” he stated.

According to Bank of England historic information, it marked the worst efficiency for the economy since the ‘Great Frost’ hibernation of 1709 when a horrifically chilly European winter, adopted by widespread floods, crippled exercise.

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