The UK economy has endured its biggest slump on record between April and June, with COVID-19 lockdown measures causing the country to officially fall into recession.
A recession becomes official once two consecutive quarters of economic decline are complete. The second quarter was finished today, creating the first British recession since 2009. The economy has shrunk 20.4% when compared to the first three months of the year.
Household spending decreased dramatically when shops were forced to close, with factory and construction industries also seeing a decline.
Speaking with the BBC, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the government has been "grappling with something that is unprecedented".
Further comments were made by shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds, who blamed Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the scale of economic decline, saying: "A downturn was inevitable after lockdown - but Johnson's jobs crisis wasn't."
The furlough scheme has seen the UK economy struggle more than expected too, and Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, is backing the furlough process to come to an end.
The Bank of England predicted the economic slump caused by COVID-19 will be less severe than expected, but warned the recovery will also take longer.
Andrew Bailey told the BBC it was important that policymakers helped workers "move forward" and not keep them in unproductive jobs.
More than nine million jobs have been furloughed under the government's job retention scheme, but the Bank expects most people to go back to work once the scheme ends.