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The haulage industry fared better than most UK sectors during the second quarter of the year, with a slowdown much less pronounced than elsewhere, according to official figures.

ONS data shows total business investment in the UK transportation and storage sector fell to £2.6bn in April, May and June 2020 – down from £3.1bn in Q2 2019, a 17.8% reduction.

But this was significantly less than the dramatic reduction seen in the wider economy, which fell 26.1%.

Tax relief consultancy Catax said UK GDP shrank 20.4% in the second quarter, with widespread declines across all the main sectors of the economy.

However, it added that this picture improved as lockdown measures eased.

Mark Tighe, Catax chief executive said: “This year has caught everyone off guard.

“The second quarter was when the pandemic really saw economies slamming on the brakes, with the national lockdown in the UK being announced on 23 March, just before it began.

“However, the haulage sector has actually fared much better than other industries.

“Both the utilities and hospitality sectors saw business investment drop by more than half as coronavirus disruption got the country in its teeth.”

Tighe said it would take time for investment to climb back to pre-Covid levels: “The speed of that recovery will depend very much on how long the second wave lasts and how much disruption is to come,” he added.