UK growth figures dampen hopes for V-shaped recovery from Covid-19 | Business

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Britain’s recovery from the worst recession in three centuries will be long and painful if the May GDP figures are indicative.The turnaround after a recession of more than 25% in March and April was lower than many economists expected at 1.8% – a paltry figure that left the economy down 19.1% in the past three months ending in May.

It was not the V-recovery that the Chancellor needed. And the first signs of this stuttering growth likely prompted Rishi Sunak to push for faster loosening of the lock.

While manufacturing output jumped 8.4% and output in the construction sector increased, particularly in the home construction sector, there was nothing else to applaud.

The service sector was still sinking and sinking rapidly in May, with consumers hesitant to buy almost all goods and services except the bare necessities.

Industrial production, which includes energy and manufacturing, was still down 20% from February.

Some would argue that this timid exit from isolation was inevitable after the UK had such a heavy toll on Covid-19 deaths compared to other countries.

But France and Italy have also suffered greatly from the disease and have nevertheless rebounded strongly in the past two months, even overtaking Germany.

The common thread seems to be public trust and confidence in their governments in particular.

Difficult decisions were made by French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte who dictated how people should behave and what companies should do to avoid being fined.

Although it has been criticized in some circles for infringing on civil rights, the majority of French and Italians have appreciated the strict regulations and the reduction in health risks that this has engendered.

It is clear from the May figures that the British government delayed the recovery by its procrastination and delay.

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Boris Johnson ultimately said the masks should be worn in stores, but not before July 24, a decision that took three months when other countries adopted the measure immediately.

The cost seems to be felt in jobs over the next few months. Preliminary data released last month showed that the number of employees fell by 621,000, or 2.1% from February to May. The trend continues in June.

Britain needs a V-shaped recovery, but doesn’t seem to be getting it.

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