The UK has successfully managed to achieve the “worst of both worlds” after it suffered the largest recession of any G7 country as well as the highest excess death rate in Europe.
New Statesman online editor George Eaton tweeted the grim news after it was revealed Britain has officially entered into the largest recession on record with the pandemic sending the economy plunging by 20.4 per cent between April and June.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed the UK’s nosedive into recession for the first time since the financial crisis after the record-breaking contraction in the second quarter, which follows a 2.2 per cent fall in the previous three months.
A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP).
The UK has achieved the worst of both worlds: the largest recession of any G7 country as well as the highest excess death rate in Europe. https://t.co/GdDkUPBGFD— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) August 12, 2020
Biggest slump in western Europe
The grim second quarter figures showed the UK suffered the biggest economic hit from the pandemic in western Europe, even beating Spain’s eye-watering 18.5 per cent drop.
In contrast Germany suffered a 10.1 per cent drop and the EU as a whole was down by just 11.9 per cent.
Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics said “the UK economy has underperformed its peers to an extraordinary degree” after the figures were released.
Drop in GDP, Apr-Jun 2020— Anneliese Dodds (@AnnelieseDodds) August 12, 2020
We’ve already got the worst excess death rate in Europe. Now we’re on course for the worst recession too.
A downturn was inevitable after lockdown – Johnson’s jobs crisis wasn’t.
Highest excess deaths across Europe
The announcement comes following news that England had the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe across the first half of 2020.
The country experienced the longest continuous period of excess deaths as well as the highest levels, a comparison of 23 European countries found.
It is the first time the ONS has compared mortality rates in different countries to measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.