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UK economy slumps 19.1% in lockdown

The UK economy contracted by 19.1% in the three months to May 2020, suggesting hopes of a rapid post-lockdown rebound are wide of the mark.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed UK GDP grew by 1.8% in May, following declines of 6.4% in March and 20.4% in April.

Many economists had predicted a sharp V-shaped recovery for the UK economy as COVID-19 restrictions started to ease.

However, the path to full economic recovery looks set to be much longer than many experts first thought.

Suren Thiru, head of economic at the BCC, said:

"The latest data confirms there was a modest rally in monthly UK GDP growth in May.

"This is more likely to reflect the partial release of pent-up demand as restrictions began to loosen, rather than evidence of a genuine recovery.

"While UK economic output may grow further in the short-term as restrictions ease, this may dissipate as the economic scarring caused by the pandemic starts to bite, particularly as government support winds down."

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