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Financial News: UK GDP Declines At Fastest Pace Since 1997

UK GDP Declines At Fastest Pace Since 1997

06/12/2020 - 02:42:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK economy contracted in April at the fastest pace since the series began in 1997, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Gross domestic product contracted by more-than-expected 20.4 percent in April from March, when it was down 5.8 percent. GDP was forecast to fall 18.4 percent.

In three months to April, GDP decreased 10.4 percent, slightly faster than the expected fall of 10 percent.

Jonathan Athow, Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics, said "April's fall in GDP is the biggest the UK has ever seen, more than three times larger than last month and almost ten times larger than the steepest pre-covid-19 fall." The services sector reported a record monthly fall of 19 percent in April versus a 6.2 percent decrease a month ago.

Industrial output declined by a record 20.3 percent in April from the previous month, with manufacturing providing the biggest downward contribution, falling by a record 24.3 percent.

Economists had forecast industrial production to drop 15 percent after easing 4.2 percent a month ago. Manufacturing output was expected to decline 15.8 percent versus March's 4.6 percent drop.

On a yearly basis, the decline in industrial production deepened to 24.4 percent from 8.2 percent. Likewise, manufacturing output was down 28.5 percent versus a 9.7 percent decrease a month ago.

Construction decreased 40.1 percent on month compared to a 5.9 percent drop in March. Farm output fell only 5.5 percent in April.

Another report from ONS showed that the visible trade deficit narrowed to GBP 7.49 billion from GBP 11.85 billion in March. Exports and imports were down 14.9 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively.

At the same time, the total trade surplus was GBP 305 million compared to a shortfall of GBP 3.95 billion in March.

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