Coronavirus hit Britain’s economy with a historic collapse in demand during April the Services PMI shows.

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain may be in the grip of its worst economic slump in centuries, a Bank of England official warned, as the coronavirus lockdown pounded businesses this month with more force than even the most pessimistic forecasters had feared.

Interest-rate setter Jan Vlieghe said on Thursday the economy should recover its pre-coronavirus growth pattern once the pandemic is over, but it could take time.

Earlier, surveys showed a historic contraction in the economy is all but guaranteed as the government grapples with its biggest public health crisis in more than 100 years. Over 17,000 Britons have died from the novel coronavirus so far.

uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-economy-pmi/coronavirus-brings-uk-economy-to-its-knees-in-april-pmi-idUKKCN22512S