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uk gdp

Downside Surprise

The latest economic data released this week provided further insight into the extent of the damage COVID-19 caused to the UK economy.

The GDP print came in, falling by 6.9% over the month and 2.2% over the quarter as a whole. This was a huge disappointment given the forecasts which anticipated a 5.8% fall in March and a 2% drop over Q1 as a whole.

These figures, released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics, reveal the largest decline in GDP in 41 years. The last time we saw such poor numbers, was in 1979.

Looking at the details within the data makes for fairly miserable reading. Consumption fell by 2.7% between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. This, in cash terms of £9.5 billion, marks the steepest nominal decline on record.

Services Sees Biggest Fall

On a sector by sector basis, services took the biggest hit. The non-manufacturing sector, which accounts for 80% of the UK economy, fell by 2.3% over the quarter. This was 0.4% worse than expected.

Production output also...

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