UK economy shrinks by 5.8% in March 2020.


According to the most recent numbers available, the size of the UK economy shrank by 5.8% in March 2020.

What are the details for March 2020?

The size of the UK economy;

  • Decreased by 5.8% overall in March 2020
  • Services decreased by 6.2% (such as banking, IT, legal)
  • Production decreased by 4.2% (such as manufacturing and agriculture).
  • Construction decreased by 5.9%

The shrinking of the Services and Construction sectors are the worst monthly figures on record

What about over a longer time frame?

For the last three months of January to March, the size of the UK economy;

  • Decreased by 2%
  • Services decreased by 1.9% (such as banking, IT, legal)
  • Production decreased by 2.1% (such as manufacturing).
  • Construction decreased by 2.6%

So the UK economy looked weaker especially in March?

According to Jonathan Athow of the ONS*;

“With the arrival of the pandemic nearly every aspect of the economy was hit in… dragging growth to a record monthly fall…(there were) record declines on the month with education, car sales and restaurants all falling substantially”.

How does this compare with other similar countries?

So, our economy shrank by 2% over the months of January to March 2020.  So this is -2%.  This compares with;

  • -3.5% for the EU
  • -5.8% for France
  • -2.2% for Germany
  • -4.7% for Italy;
  • -2.6% for Canada
  • not yet available for Japan
  • -4.8%% for the USA.

Sources & Notes

*The Office for National Statistics, or ONS, is the official UK government agency that provides data for the UK.

GDP measures the size of the economy, and stands for Gross Domestic Product.

Many countries revise their GDP figures and the above numbers may change as more data is available.  For some countries the above figures are an estimate.