Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Britain's economy shrank by a record 5.8 percent in March

Britain's economy shrank by a record 5.8 percent in March against February as the coronavirus crisis intensified and the government introduced strict restrictive measures to stop it spreading. This is what official figures presented today, quoted by Reuters.
For the first three months of the year the gross domestic product shrank by 2 per cent compared to the last three months of 2019, the national statistical office specified, BTA reported.

This is the biggest drop on a quarterly basis since the end of 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. The expectations of the Reuters economists surveyed were for an average decline of 2.5 per cent.

The contraction of the economy in April is likely to be even greater as the whole month was covered by restrictive measures on British companies and consumers.

Last week, the British central bank said the economy could report its biggest annual decline in over 300 years, adding that a 14 per cent contraction was possible, followed possibly by growth of 15 per cent in 2021.

The statistics office reported a record 1.9 per cent drop in the UK service sector for the first quarter, and there was also a significant contraction in production and construction.