The impact of the coronavirus in Europe has particularly hit the United Kingdom (UK).
The Wall Street Journal reported that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland saw their gross domestic product, the value of goods and services, fall by more than 20% in the second quarter (Q2 ) at an annualized rate of almost 60%, as the nations have recorded. the highest death toll from COVID-19, according to the Office for National Statistics, the independent agency responsible for collecting data on the economy and its people.
“It’s been a tough few months,” Richard Swart, global sales and quality manager for Berger Global, a unit of Durham, England-based Ringmetall AG, the German manufacturer of the packaging industry, told the WSJ.
May and June sales fell nearly 40% depending on the industry supplied, he said. Although sales improved in July and August, they remain sporadic as customers continue to be uncertain, he added.
“Everyone is clinging to the hope that there will be a vaccine, this is the ultimate solution,” Swart told the newspaper.
As the region has seen lockdown restrictions simplify and workers have returned to factories and offices, the Bank of England (BOE) has warned that it would take 17 months to regain ground lost during the pandemic.
In contrast, the United States and Germany lost about 10 percent of their production, Italy 12 percent, France 14 percent and Spain 19 percent. British officials have ordered the economy to shut down for most of the second quarter, starting a few weeks at the end of March after other European countries, and gradually easing restrictions from the end of May , reported the WSJ.
One of the factors that has contributed to the decline of the UK economy is that the region is dependent on activities that require personal contact. According to BOE estimates, spending on cinema or theater tickets, restaurants, or attending sporting events accounts for 13% of Britain’s total output, compared to 11% in the United States and 10%. % in Europe.
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc in the UK with 46,000 deaths, the highest tally in Europe and the fourth in the world after the US, Brazil and Mexico.
This equates to nearly 700 deaths per million population, exceeding the toll in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the United States per capita, the WSJ reported.
“We responded very late and chaotically,” Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, told the newspaper.
UK government officials have insisted they acted quickly and in accordance with scientific advice.