UK GDP down 20%

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    LONDON- Britain suffered a record collapse in economic output in the second quarter of 2020 when COVID-19 lockdown measures were in full force, though the decline was slightly smaller than first estimated.

    Gross domestic product shrank by 19.8 percent in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics said, slightly less than the initial estimate of a quarterly 20.4 percent crash but still more than for any other major advanced economy.

    The fall was the big gest since the ONS records began in 1955. Other data has suggested Britain is on course for its biggest annual fall since the 1920s.

    Britain’s economy had already shrunk by 2.5 percent in the January-March period as the country entered lockdown in late March.

    Output has rebounded in recent months but the recovery looks to be fading with rising coronavirus cases and forecasts of a jump in unemployment as the government scales back job support.

    “The renewed COVID-19 restrictions will probably mean that GDP stagnates in Q4, leaving economic activity marooned 5.5 percent short of its pre-crisis level,” Ruth Gregory of consultancy Capital Economics said.

    “And the risk now is that renewed containment measures send the recovery into reverse,” she added.

    Households saved a record 29.1 percent of their income, up from 9.6 percent in the first quarter, as they were unable to spend in many shops and restaurants during the lockdown, while incomes were supported by a government job program which ends next month.