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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber responds to April’s fall in GDP

The UK economy recorded its worst ever monthly fall in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in April as the impact of the coronavirus on businesses saw the economy shrink by 20.4%.

The latest monthly GDP estimate showed the effects of the first full-month of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resulting lockdown, on the UK’s economy. It followed a monthly fall of 5.8% in March.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “April’s GDP estimate makes for grim reading and brings into sharp relief just how quickly the coronavirus lockdown impacted the economy.

“The figures show that all business sectors were affected in some way and that even with the numerous significant financial interventions put in place by Government, the pandemic still had a devastating effect on business.

“With lockdown restrictions starting to loosen and many businesses – including shops and come leisure and tourism venues – being allowed to re-open, April’s figure is likely to be the low watermark.

“However, with many sectors continuing to operate at reduced capacity and support available to employers via the furlough scheme being rolled back in the coming months, some form of flexible and open-ended Government support will be required to help many firms find their feet again, recover lost ground and adapt to the new normal.”