UK economy showed resilience ahead of big lockdown easing

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that the British economy contracted by 1.5% in the first quarter of 2021, a relatively modest contraction given that the country was in the midst of a strict lockdown to combat a second wave of the coronavirus. The Office for National Statistics also said Wednesday that the economy even managed to grow by 2.1% in March when the country began easing some of the restrictions. The overall first quarter figures provide further evidence that businesses and consumers have adapted to the constraints of lockdown by increasing their online activities. In the second quarter of 2020, when the first lockdown was in place, the British economy contracted by a fifth.