COVID-19: Locked-down UK economy shrank by 1.5% in first quarter

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Britain’s locked-down economy shrank by 1.5% in the first quarter of the year, official figures show.

The data covers a period when a resurgence in coronavirus cases resulted in renewed restrictions including school and shop closures and “stay at home” advice.

But the impact on the economy appears to have been much smaller than during the first lockdown last year when gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by nearly a fifth over the April-June period.

Overall, 2020 saw GDP shrink by nearly 10%.

But experts think the resilience of businesses throughout the latest lockdown, added to a strong bounce-back as restrictions ease for the remainder of the year, will result in 2021 seeing the strongest annual growth since the Second World War.

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