GDP declined by 9.9% in 2020, a figure which is more than double of what was recorded in 2009 after the UK’s financial crisis.
Figures show that GDP in December 2020 was 6.3% below the level of February 2020, having increased by 1.2% compared with November 2020.
Monthly gross domestic product GDP increased by 1.2% during December 2020 -as business restrictions were briefly lifted -but still remained 6.3% below February 2020 levels.
The services sector acted as the “main contribution to growth” in December, increasing by 1.7% as a number of consuming industries reopened. However the services sector is now 6.9% below the level of February 2020.
Suren Thiru, head of economics, British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Despite avoiding a double-dip recession, with output still well below pre-pandemic levels amid confirmation that 2020 was a historically bleak year for the UK economy, there is little to cheer in the latest data.
“Modest growth at the end of 2020 is set to be followed by a substantial fall in output in the first quarter of this year as the current lockdown, the unwinding of Brexit inventories and disruption to UK-EU trade flows combine to suffocate activity.”
He added: “While the vaccine rollout offers optimism, with the scarring caused by the pandemic likely to crystallise as government support winds down and the prospect of persistent post-Brexit disruption, any recovery may be slower than the Bank of England currently predicts.”