WORLD UK GDP shrinks 2.9% amid COVID lockdown; Brexit cuts exports

WORLD

UK GDP shrinks 2.9% amid COVID lockdown; Brexit cuts exports

AP

18:05, March 12, 2021

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

File photo: AFP

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

Manufacturing declined for the first time since April, driven by a drop in exports as the nation felt the full effects of its departure from the EU for the first time after transitional arrangements ended Dec. 31, the ONS said.

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

Britain’s decision to leave the EU ended more than 40 years of free trade with the 27-nation bloc and its 450 million people. Shipments between Britain and the EU are now subject to tariffs, border checks and increased paperwork that have curtailed trade.

Related Stories

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue