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GDP figures highlight hospitality’s need for support



GDP estimates released today by the Office for National Statistics highlights how hospitality is taking an unprecedented and hugely disproportionate hit, and must remain a special case for Government support.


The figures released today show the UK economy took a 2% drop the first quarter of 2020. By comparison, the UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker, published last week, showed a Q1 decline in sales of 21.3%.


UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The hit the economy has taken is a substantial one but it is eclipsed by the hammering hospitality has taken. The declines we are seeing in other sectors, alarming though they may be, are incidental compared to the truly alarming hit that ours is taking.


“The economy’s 5.8% decline in March alone will have been similarly dwarfed by hospitality’s misfortune, as lockdown and forced closures came into force, stopping trade for most venues altogether.


“This shines a light on the dire and unique position in which our sector has been placed. Ours was the first to take a hit, took the hardest hit, and will take longer than most to recover. Hospitality needs additional support to ensure that swathes of businesses do no fail altogether and to avoid millions of jobs being lost. We need continued and flexible support on furlough, rents and insurance, so that businesses can plan ahead, save livelihoods and help to drive economic recovery.”

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