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Britain’s disastrous GDP figures


WHEN BORIS JOHNSON opened the yr with a video message promising an “exhilarating decade of progress, prosperity and alternative”, his supporters have been fast to foretell a brand new “roaring 20s”. They weren’t so vast of the mark. This yr has opened with Britain’s deepest recession for the reason that post-first-world-war crash of 1919 and 1920.

A later lockdown than in lots of different wealthy international locations led to raised numbers within the first quarter of 2020, however the 20.4% GDP contraction within the second quarter was the deepest on file. Over the primary half of the yr as an entire GDP shrank by 22.1%. The size of the lockdown—eating places and pubs reopened in July, later than in many of the remainder of Europe—was the first trigger. Faculty closures made life particularly troublesome for households by which each mother and father work, and Britain has a whole lot of these. Lockdown’s influence on information assortment most likely means these estimates are much less dependable than ordinary, however the broad image is evident.

The economic system returned to progress in Might, and in June GDP grew by 8.7%, the quickest rise on file. However huge share will increase after an enormous fall are deceptive. Google’s mobility information counsel that Britons have been slower to return to retailers, and to begin consuming and ingesting out once more, than different Europeans. The climb out of the opening might be a protracted one.

Editor’s observe: A few of our covid-19 protection is free for readers of The Economist Right now, our day by day publication. For extra tales and our pandemic tracker, see our hub

This text appeared within the Britain part of the print version below the headline “Crash”

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