The Houses of Parliament at the end of an empty Westminster Bridge in central London on March 24, 2020, after Britain ordered a lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19. Photo: AFP/Justin Talis

Britain’s battered economy shrank by a record 20.4% in April from the previous month as the coronavirus lockdown ravaged businesses, official data showed Friday.

The nation’s gross domestic product nosedived by more than a fifth in April, after logging a 5.8% contraction in March, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

“GDP fell by 20.4% in the month, the largest fall since monthly records began in 1997, reflecting record widespread falls in services, production and construction output,” the ONS added.

April was the first full month to reflect the impact of Britain’s lockdown, which was aimed at halting the spread of Covid-19 and was imposed on March 23.

“The economy has experienced a significant shock since the start of the coronavirus pandemic; GDP has fallen dramatically, with record broad-based falls in output for production, services and construction,” the ONS said.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has also blighted economies worldwide, had a “significant and wide-ranging negative impact” in April on British businesses.

“April 2020 has experienced sharper falls than March as the negative impacts of social distancing and ‘lockdown’ have led to a significant fall in consumer demand and business and factory closures, as well as supply chain disruptions,” it added.