Coronavirus pushes leading world economies into record slumps

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (C) speaks alongside Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes (L), deputies and senators during a statement on financial aid for vulnerable Brazilians amid the COVID-19 pandemic, at Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, on September 1, 2020. – Brazil announced a reduction of 9.1% in the gross domestic product. (Photo by Sergio Lima / AFP)


PARIS, France (AFP) — Brazil and India reported historic second-quarter drops in national economic output this week, a situation seen in almost all leading global economies owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Only China, where the outbreak was first reported, has escaped a recession.

Here are second-quarter changes in gross domestic product (GDP) compared with the previous quarter for many of the world’s top economies. Unless stated otherwise, the figures are from the national statistics institutes.

– Brazil –
Latin America’s leading economy said Tuesday that national output had fallen by 9.7 percent.

Brazil has reported the second highest number of coronavirus deaths to date, with more than 121,000 according to an AFP tally.

It is now in recession — two consecutive quarters of contraction — following a drop in GDP of 2.5 percent in the first three months of the year.

Economic activity has fallen to a level last seen in late 2009 during the global economic crisis, the IBGE statistics institute said.

– India –
On Monday, India said its economy had collapsed by 23.9 percent. The country is also among those that have reported the most coronavirus deaths, with more than 65,000.

It is not in recession however because business activity expanded by 3.1 percent in the first quarter of the year.

– China –
China, the world’s second-largest economy, might have been where the novel coronavirus originated, but thanks to strict lockdown measures it was able to largely halt the spread of the virus and reopen factories, thus avoiding a recession.

In the second quarter its economy rebounded by 11.5 percent, having fallen by 10 percent in the first quarter. Growth this year will nonetheless be well below the breakneck rates China has seen in recent years.

– Japan –
Japan announced in mid-May that it was already in recession when first-quarter GDP slid by 0.6 percent after a 1.9-percent drop in the final three months of 2019.

The world’s third biggest economy then recorded a further slump of 7.8 percent in the April-June quarter, its worst on record, as the coronavirus exacerbated chronic economic woes.

A sign in the window of a Leon food outlet alerts customers that the shop has temporarily closed-down due to COVID-19, in London on August 12, 2020. – Britain’s economy contracted by a record 20.4 percent in the second quarter with the country in lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic, official data showed Wednesday. “It is clear that the UK is in the largest recession on record,” the Office for National Statistics said. Britain officially entered recession in the second quarter after gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

– Britain –
The UK suffered the worst recession in Europe in the first two quarters of the year, also recording the continent’s highest number of coronavirus deaths. GDP fell by 20.4 percent in the second quarter after a 2.2 percent drop in the first.

Britain has reported more than 41,000 coronavirus deaths.

– Germany –
Europe’s top economy was hit less hard by the coronavirus than its neighbours, but still saw GDP fall by 9.7 percent in the second quarter after a decline of 2 percent in the first.

Germany’s previous record for a quarterly GDP drop was 4.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009, after the financial crisis of 2008.

– France –
The eurozone’s number two economy was in a longer and stricter lockdown than its eastern neighbour, and second-quarter GDP fell more steeply, by 13.8 percent, following a drop of 5.9 percent in the three months from January through March.

France’s previous all-time worst quarterly blow to output was dealt by a general strike in May 1968.

– Italy –
Italian growth was impacted very early on by the coronavirus which hit its richest region, Lombardy, particularly hard. Italian GDP fell by 5.4 percent in the first quarter and by 12.8 percent in the second.

– Spain –
After a 5.2 percent drop in the first quarter, Spain’s economy contracted a further 18.5 percent in the second, notably because of a 60-percent drop in tourism income and a fall in exports by one-third.

– Eurozone –
The eurozone’s overall GDP plunged 12.1 percent in the three months to June, after a 3.6-percent drop in the first quarter, making the second quarter downturn “by far” the worst since statistics agency Eurostat began compiling growth data for the area in 1995.

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 08: The Oculus transportation hub and mall stands nearly deserted in lower Manhattan as the coronavirus keeps financial markets and businesses mostly closed on May 08, 2020 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

– United States –
The United States, the world’s top economy, suffered a 9.5-percent slump in the second quarter following a 1.3 percent drop in the first, according to figures published by the OECD.

The US has reported the highest Covid-19 death toll, with more than 180,000.


© Agence France-Presse