UK economy hit hardest by Covid-19

Among the world’s major economies, the UK suffered the biggest economic impact from Covid-19 in the second quarter of the year, according to a new report.

Figures compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that UK’s real gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 20.4% from April to June, its biggest slump on record, as lockdown measures pushed the country into recession.

In France, where lockdown measures were among the most stringent, GDP declined by 13.8% in the second quarter.

GDP also fell sharply in Italy (12.4%), Canada (12.0%) and Germany (9.7%).

In the United States, where many states introduced ‘stay-at-home’ measures in late March, GDP contracted by 9.5% in April-June, while in Japan, where containment measures were less stringent, GDP was down 7.8%.

GDP declined by 9.8% for the 37 OECD nations as a whole.

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

He added that the UK economy had performed worse than other European countries because it was particularly dependent on services, hospitality and consumer spending.