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UK economy shrinks 9.9% amid pandemic, biggest annual decline on record

The coronavirus pandemic closed shops and restaurants and and devastated the travel industry

UK economy | Coronavirus | Europe

AP | PTI  |  London 

A man wears a face mask while he walks in Regent Street, ahead of the new Tier-4 restriction measures, in London, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020
A man wears a face mask while he walks in Regent Street, in London, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020

Britain's suffered its biggest decline on record last year as the pandemic closed shops and restaurants and and devastated the travel industry.

But even as the Office for National Statistics said Friday that gross domestic product shrank 9.9 per cent in 2020, there were signs of a rebound. The expanded 1 per cent in the fourth quarter, a second consecutive quarter of growth.

Andy Haldane, chief economist for the Bank of England, said the rapid vaccination of people across the UK would ease COVID-19 restrictions and unleash an economic recovery.

A decisive corner is about to be turned for the economy, too, with enormous amounts of pent-up financial energy waiting to be released, like a coiled spring, Haldane wrote in the Daily Mail.

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First Published: Fri, February 12 2021. 14:41 IST