The UK faces a significant recession after figures showed the economy shrank by 2% in the three months to the end of March.

Iran Press/Europe:The figures are the first official preview of the lockdown's financial effects and show a contraction of 5.8% in March GDP (gross domestic product) alone - the biggest monthly fall on record. 

The UK went into lockdown near the end of the quarter in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus, so the quarterly GDP figure is only a partial representation of the lockdown's financial impact.

Recession requires two consecutive negative quarters and this seems almost certain when the current quarter ends in June, as that will have been dominated by lockdown restrictions.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told Sky News: "Technically a recession is defined as two quarters of negative GDP, we've now had yes it is now very likely that the UK is facing a significant recession at the moment and this year."

"The UK was relatively late to impose a lockdown, which helps explain why other countries which moved quicker - Italy, Spain, France and China, for instance - have seen far bigger contractions in the first quarter.

"But in much the same way, the UK is expected to see a far sharper decline in the second quarter of the year - the one we're in at the moment."

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 4,342,354 cases have been detected worldwide, with 292,893 deaths and 1,602,443 people now recovered.


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