UK economy shrinks 2% in first quarter before full lockdown

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that the British economy shrank by 2% in the first quarter of the year from the previous three-month period as restrictions on economic activity were ramped up ahead of the coronavirus lockdown towards the end of March. The decline is the biggest since the global financial crisis in 2008 and is the first indication of the coronavirus’ growing impact on the economy ahead of the British lockdown on March 23. In March alone, the British economy shrank by 5.8%. That monthly fall is an indicator of what has occurred since. Many economists predict that the second quarter could see British economic output shrink by a quarter, or even more.