The economy shrank by 9.9% in 2020, the biggest contraction since 1709

20%

Industrial

revolution

10

0

4

2

-10

3

1

2020 – Covid-19

UK GDP shrinks 9.9%

-20

1700

1750

1800

1850

1900

1950

2000

1 1709: The Great Frost

The economy is dragged down as frozen rivers, canals and seaports disrupt trade across Europe

 

2 1815: The end of the Napoleonic wars at the battle of Waterloo is followed by economic depression. Poor harvests and the Corn Laws push up food prices and clamour for political reform leads to the Peterloo massacre in 1819, and foundation of the Manchester Guardian two years later

 

3 Post WW1 slump

The biggest downturn of the past two centuries comes after WW1 and the Spanish flu pandemic, which kills more people than the conflict. Growth returns in 1922 but aftershocks lead to the 1926 general strike, which causes another recession

 

4 Financial crisis

The collapse that follows the banking crisis is the worst since WW2. It begins in 2007–08 and a decade of anaemic recovery, made worse by austerity, follows

20%

Industrial revolution

10

0

4

2

-10

3

1

2020 – Covid-19

UK GDP shrinks 9.9%,

a 300-year record

-20

1700

1725

1750

1775

1800

1825

1850

1875

1900

1925

1950

1975

2000

1 1709: The Great Frost

The economy is dragged down as frozen rivers, canals and seaports disrupt trade across Europe

 

2 1815: The end of the Napoleonic wars at the battle of Waterloo is followed by economic depression. Poor harvests and the Corn Laws push up food prices and clamour for political reform leads to the Peterloo massacre in 1819, and foundation of the Manchester Guardian two years later

3 Post WW1 slump

The biggest downturn of the past two centuries comes after WW1 and the Spanish flu pandemic, which kills more people than the conflict. Growth returns in 1922 but aftershocks lead to the 1926 general strike, which causes another recession

 

4 Financial crisis

The collapse that follows the banking crisis is the worst since WW2. It begins in 2007–08 and a decade of anaemic recovery, made worse by austerity, follows