Last year’s fall in output was the biggest since modern official records began after World War Two, and longer-running historical data hosted by the Bank of England suggest it was the biggest drop since 1709.
The fall is also steeper than almost any other big economy, though Spain – also hard-hit by the virus – suffered an 11% decline.
Britain has reported Europe’s highest death toll from COVID-19 and is among the world’s highest in terms of deaths per head.
Some of the damage also reflects how Britain’s economy relied more on face-to-face consumer services than other countries, as well as disruption to schooling and routine healthcare which few other countries factored in to GDP.
However, Britain has vaccinated many more people than other European countries so far, raising the prospect of a bounce-back for its economy later this year.