Pandemic sees UK economy shrink at fastest rate since 1921

The UK’s economy shrunk at its fastest rate since the 1920s last year, as the pandemic forced thousands of businesses to remain closed for several months.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 9.9%.

However, after registering a 1.2% growth in December – despite strong restrictions across large parts of the country – the economy looks set to avoid what could have been its first double-dip recession since the 1970s.

All four sectors tracked by the ONS saw a drop in output, with the highest drop coming in the construction sector, which contracted by 12.5%.

ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said: “Loosening of restrictions in many parts of the UK saw elements of the economy recover some lost ground in December, with hospitality, car sales and hairdressers all seeing growth.

“The economy continued to grow in the fourth quarter

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