Britain is facing a "major recession," Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned after the numbers showed that the country's economy had shrunk 2 percent in the first three months of the year due to the effects of the economic blockade caused by coronaviruses.
The British finance minister of Indian origin, who is at the forefront of the economic response to the coronavirus pandemic and has launched a wide range of job protection measures, said the country had not yet met the technical definition of a recession – two in a row Quarter of the falling activity – it was only a matter of time.
"The first quarter was so bad due to the few days of coronavirus impact in March. It is very likely that Britain is facing a significant recession this year," Rishi Sunak told & # 39; Sky News & # 39 ;.
"It is premature to speculate about this in the future. We are living in an era of unprecedented economic uncertainty. We are currently thinking primarily about protecting people's health," he said.
His warning came when the UK's National Statistics Office (ONS) released data on Wednesday showing that the economic blow in late March affected almost all sectors of the economy. This meant that production fell almost as much in a single month as it did in the 18-month decline during and after the 2008/09 financial crisis.
Since people had to stay at home from the end of March, all three main components of growth – services, production and construction – were affected.
"The effects of the corona virus have been seen across the economy, with almost all subsectors declining in the three months to March," said the ONS.
The numbers were the first official look at the financial impact of the block and show a 5.8 percent drop in gross domestic product (GDP) alone in March – the largest monthly drop in existence.
The Confederation of Confederations of British Industry, Rain Newton-Smith, said: "Ultimately, keeping health at the heart of a recovery plan will be crucial to sustaining economic recovery.