The UK’s economy has experienced a significant shock since the start of the pandemic as its GDP fell dramatically in April, according to the Office for National Statistics on Friday.

“GDP fell by 20.4% in the month, the largest fall since monthly records began in 1997, reflecting record widespread falls in services, production and construction output,” the office said.

“April 2020 has experienced sharper falls than March as the negative impacts of social distancing and ‘lockdown’ have led to a significant fall in consumer demand and business and factory closures, as well as supply chain disruptions,” it added.

The monthly decline in GDP in April is also three times greater than the fall experienced during the 2008-2009 economic downturn.

The figures indicate more than a fifth of the economy shrank in the month since lockdown started.

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