Uk Gdp Shrinks 2.9% Amid Covid Lockdown; Brexit Cuts Exports

The Office for National Statistics said the drop by GDP was fuelled by declines in retail trade and education as efforts to slow COVID-19 spread shut nonessential shops and schools across the UK

The British economy shrank 2.9 percent in January because the nation was hit by a replacement round of coronavirus restrictions and Brexit slashed exports to the European Union.

The Office for National Statistics said on Friday that the drop by gross domestic product was fuelled by declines in retail trade and education as efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 shut nonessential shops and schools across the U.K. Britain’s economy is about 9 percent smaller than it had been before the coronavirus pandemic began in February 2020, the ONS said.

Manufacturing declined for the primary time since April, driven by a drop in exports because the nation felt the complete effects of its departure from the EU for the primary time after transitional arrangements ended New Year’s Eve, the ONS said.

Exports of products to the EU plunged almost 41 percent in January, while imports from the bloc dropped 28.8 percent, the ONS reported.

Britain’s decision to go away from the EU ended quite 40 years of trade with the 27-nation bloc and its 450 million people.

Shipments between Britain and therefore the EU are now subject to tariffs, border checks, and increased paperwork that have curtailed trade.

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