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COVID-19: World’s leading economies pushed into record slumps

Brazil and India reported historic second-quarter drops in national economic output this week. — AFP/Files

PARIS: 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.


Latin America's leading economy said Tuesday that national output had fallen by 9.7%.

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% 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.


On Monday, India said its economy had collapsed by 23.9%. 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% in the first quarter of the year.


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



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

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


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% in the second quarter after a 2.2% drop in the first.

Britain has reported more than 41,000 coronavirus deaths.



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

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


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% , following a drop of 5.9% 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.


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


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


The eurozone's overall GDP plunged 12.1% in the three months to June, after a 3.6% 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.

United States

The United States, the world's top economy, suffered a 9.5% slump in the second quarter following a 1.3% 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.

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