UK monthly GDP had experienced a period of recovery after having suffered the biggest drop on record in April when the measure was down 19.5 percent compared with March. Between August and September, GDP in the UK had risen for the fifth consecutive month but the comeback had begun to falter, as this chart shows. The figures for July revealed a further dent in the economy's aspirations for a return to pre-pandemic levels, with the latest increase of just 0.1 percent dashing any optimism garnered from the latest increases.
The massive 19.5 percent drop, which coincided with the first full month of lockdown, was the largest monthly fall since such records began in 1997. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow commented: "If you take March and April together the fall was 25 per cent. So in two months the economy shrank by a quarter. The biggest fall we have seen before was just over 2 percent – so it’s 10 times the size of the largest fall we have seen before the coronavirus. Virtually every sector has been shrinking.”