LONDON (AP) — Britain has suffered the deepest recession among the world’s top economies this year, shrinking by a fifth in the second quarter alone when much of the economy was mothballed as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The 20.4% quarterly drop is the worst since records began in 1955, the Office for National Statistics said, and means Britain is in recession.
While many of the lockdown restrictions have since been eased, the country faces a tough time in coming months, with unemployment likely to spike as the government phases out a support program that has effectively kept nearly 10 million workers on company payrolls.
Britain’s recession is deeper than those recorded by comparable economies in Europe, notably Germany, France and Italy, or by the United States. Canada and Japan, the remaining members of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations, have yet to publish their second-quarter numbers but no economist thinks they will be as bad as the U.K.’s.