Markus Kuger, Chief Economist at business decisioning data and analytics provider Dun & Bradstreet, comments on the latest real GDP figures below. The figures show a significant economic contraction since lockdown began in March, with all sectors of the economy shrinking significantly between March and May 2020, ranging from a 12.0% drop in agricultural output to a 38.8% fall in the construction sector.

He said: “Despite some positive signs and green shoots of growth in the UK’s GDP figures for May, the latest analysis from Dun & Bradstreet predicts that the UK economy will contract by 8.5% in 2020. As social distancing measures are likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future, and businesses face further disruption and uncertainty as the end of the Brexit transition period approaches in December 2020, Dun & Bradstreet expect that the economic recovery will be modest and gradual across the majority of sectors. Dun & Bradstreet is maintaining its ‘deteriorating’ risk outlook and our country risk rating for the UK remains at an all-time low [since we began ratings]. Our data has also shown a worrying trend for worsening payment performance and we expect the number of late payments and business failures to increase in future quarters as the full impact of the economic contraction caused by the pandemic becomes clearer.”