Coronavirus: UK most affected among major economies

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The UK was hit hardest by Covid-19 among major economies from April to June, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said.

Its economy suffered its biggest recession on record in the three-month period, as coronavirus lockdown measures officially pushed the country into recession.

Its 20.4% contraction was well above the 9.8% drop for all 37 OECD countries, according to the think tank.

Spain was the second most affected, with a drop of 18.5%.

The drop for the OECD area was the largest on record, far exceeding the 2.3% drop recorded in the first three months of 2009, at the height of the financial crisis.

At the same time, the group of industrialized countries of the G7 suffered a contraction of 10.9%, while the euro zone experienced a decline of 12.1%.

Among other G7 countries, second-quarter GDP fell 13.8% in France, while Italy, Canada and Germany suffered declines of 12.4%, 12% and 9.7 % respectively.

When the UK released its second quarter GDP figures earlier this month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the BBC the government “is grappling with something that is unprecedented” and it was ” a very difficult and uncertain period ”.

He said the UK economy performed less well than its EU counterparts as it focused on services, hospitality and consumer spending.

But Phantom Chancellor Anneliese Dodds blamed Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the extent of the economic decline, saying: “A slowdown was inevitable after the lockdown – but Johnson’s jobs crisis was not. “

From Madrid to Manchester, empty streets in the height of spring have laid bare the economic impact of measures to stem the spread of the virus.

And now the OECD has put numbers in the big picture; he thinks the richest countries, those which account for the bulk of world trade, declined four times faster between April and June than during the darkest period of the financial crisis.

And with its reliance on the sectors most affected – purchasing, services and hospitality – the UK has suffered one of the biggest declines.

But that was then. As restrictions have been relaxed, shutters have been lifted, attention has turned to the strength of the recovery.

In the UK, the evidence is mixed: retail spending has returned to pre-crisis levels (albeit with some winners and losers), but other sectors continue to struggle. Economists predict that it may take a few years for the economy to fully get back on track, with some fearing unemployment could climb to 10% or more in the meantime.

And we may not be alone: ​​the OECD estimates that the recovery of many other countries could be just as long.

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