UK GDP falls 20% in April

The debate about whether lockdown was disproportionate to the virus threat will intensify around the world after the UK announced that the economy had contracted by 20.4% in April.

The figures are a record fall and make the falls of 2008-2009, the Miners Strike and the three day week look small.

What might happen is

  1. Renewed calls to change Brexit negotiation tactics. Many politicians will try to argue that the UK shouldn’t be fighting two battles (Brexit negotiations and the coronavirus) at the same time
  2. A determination not to lockdown for a second time.
  3. Countries that are just getting the virus in a big way might be worried about going into a hard lockdown.
  4. Once all the statistics are available globally, there will be a debate about which countries have handled the crisis the best.
  5. Many people will likely make misleading comparisons between the UK FTSE’s performance and GDP even though stock markets and GDP growth aren’t always connected, and indeed virus’ and stock markets aren’t always related.
  6. The political blame games against “the rich” might intensify.

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