U.K. economy contracted by 1.5% in the first quarter between lockdowns

U.k -economy-contracted-by-1.5%-in-the-first-quarter-between-lockdowns

May 13, 2021: -On Wednesday, the U.K. economy contracted nearly 1.5% in the first quarter of 2021 lockdown measures in the nation continued to weigh on activity, preliminary estimates reveal.

Reuters polled economists who had expected GDP to shrink around 1.7%, with stringent restrictions that have been in place throughout the first three months of the year as the country tried to contain spiraling Covid-19 cases.

However, with lockdown measures being phased out and the economy reopening, the country expects to see a sharp rebound for the remainder of the year.

The International Monetary Fund is also expecting U.K. GDP to increase 5.3% this year, partially as a recovery from the previous year when the economy saw its most significant annual contraction since the Great Frost of 1709.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the next stage of lockdown easing would start on May 17, with international travel allowed in some circumstances and hospitality venues permitted to welcome customers indoors, a lifeline for the country’s dominant services industry.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the economy increased 2.1% in March, slightly over expectations, and the level of GDP now sits at 8.7%, which is lesser than its pre-pandemic level at the end of 2019. On a year-on-year basis, GDP shrank nearly 6.1% in the first quarter.

Both services and production output contracted over the first quarter, but construction output rose.

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