The UK economy shrank by 2.6 percent in November compared to the previous month. It was the first month in which England went into quarantine for the second time due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants had to close the doors.
Due to the new restrictions, holiday homes and restaurants were particularly badly hit, causing the whole service sector to shrink by 3.4 percent on a monthly basis. Lockdowns were also introduced to a greater or lesser extent in other parts of the United Kingdom. Industry produced a fraction less. The construction sector, on the other hand, continued to grow, the British National Statistical Office announced.
November was the first month since April that British Gross Domestic product (GDP) decreased on a monthly basis. Compared to February, the last month before the UK coronavirus rapidly seized, the economy had shrunk by 8.5 percent.
Economists had expected a more severe economic downturn for November. In general, they assumed that GDP would fall by 4.6 percent compared to October.
The British finance minister Rishi Sunak warned that the economic pain caused by the resurgence of the coronavirus will be even greater.
“It is clear that things will get worse before they get better, and today’s figures show just how big the problems are,” said Sunak.
At the same time, he drew hope from the progress of the large-scale vaccination campaign.
In the United Kingdom, the rate of infection due to a new variant of the coronavirus is very high, which does not exclude even more stringent lockdown measures. Scotland has already decided. At the same time, economists warn that the British economy is being damaged by the end of the transitional period after the brexit, despite the trade agreement with the European Union. In fact, there are many more customs formalities at the border, which hampers international trade.