UK economy shrinks 9.9%, biggest annual decline on record

Britain’s economy suffered its biggest decline on record last year as the coronavirus pandemic closed shops and restaurants and devastated the travel industry

But even as the Office for National Statistics said Friday that gross domestic product shrank 9.9% in 2020, there were signs of a rebound. The economy expanded 1% in the fourth quarter, a second consecutive quarter of growth.

Andy Haldane, chief economist for the Bank of England, said the rapid vaccination of people across the U.K. would ease COVID-19 restrictions and unleash an economic recovery.

“A decisive corner is about to be turned for the economy, too, with enormous amounts of pent-up financial energy waiting to be released, like a coiled spring,” Haldane wrote in the Daily Mail.

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