The economy shrank by 2% in the first three months of 2020, as coronavirus forced the country into lockdown.
Rishi Sunak told the BBC that just "a few days of impact from the virus" in March pushed the economy into decline.
Economists expect an even bigger slump in the current quarter.
Mr Sunak said: "It is now very likely that the UK economy will face a significant recession this year, and we're already in the middle of that as we speak."
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