The UK saw the biggest economic slump of the world's major economies in the second quarter as the Covid-19 crisis sparked a record global contraction, new figures from the OECD show today.

Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) plunged by 9.8% across its 37 member countries.

This marked the OCED'ss largest ever recorded fall and far worse than the 2.3% drop recorded in the first quarter of 2009, at the height of the financial crisis. 

But the UK's even steeper 20.4% drop in GDP between April and June dwarfed the OECD area contraction, as well as the 10.8% decline recorded for the G7 group of advanced nations. 

The second-quarter contraction sent Britain spiralling into a historic recession, worse than any other recorded by the Office for National Statistics, following a 2.2% fall in the previous three months.

A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP).

The UK's drop beat even Spain's 18.5% decline and was more than double the 9.5% contraction seen in the US. 

The OECD said the euro area suffered a 12.1% fall in the second quarter. 

Among the other G7 nations, second-quarter GDP declined by 13.8% in France, where lockdown measures were among the most stringent, following a drop of 5.9% in the previous quarter. 

The economies of Italy, Canada and Germany suffered falls of 12.4%, 12% and 9.7% respectively. 

Japan, which enforced a less stringent lockdown, saw the economy contract by 7.8% in the second quarter following 0.6% in the previous three months.

Experts say Britain's painful performance is partly down to the later timing of Britain's lockdown in March and the path of easing restrictions, but it is also due to its economic reliance on the services sector, which was hit particularly hard by the lockdown.