In turn, Britain’s growth begins to plunge

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Just one week of containment in the first quarter weighed heavily on activity, already slowed by uncertainties linked to Brexit.

In London, May 5, in a shopping artery during confinement.
In London, May 5, in a shopping artery during confinement. Frank Augstein / AP

Correspondent in London

The shock begins to be felt. A few days after the Bank of England (BoE) predicted a historic recession in the country (GDP shrunk by 14% in 2020), first quarter figures came to confirm these gloomy forecasts. GDP fell 2% in the first three months of the year, when the coronavirus crisis was only in its infancy. It was the worst performance since the end of the tough year 2008.

For the month of March alone, the National Statistics Office (ONS) estimates the decline in GDP at 5.8%, the worst month-to-month since the start of these monthly statistics in 1997. The containment only started on March 23, which increases concern about the impact expected in the second quarter. The economic downturn in particular has caused household consumption and business investment to plummet. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, acknowledged that such a decline, after only

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