UK in worst recession on record
Chancellor Rishi Sunak declared on Wednesday that “hard times are here” after official figures showed that the UK had fallen into deep recession - the GDP is down by 20.4% - as the coronavirus pandemic takes a heavy toll on lives, lifestyles and jobs.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the GDP fell in the April-June second quarter of 2020 by 20.4% compared with the previous three months - the biggest quarterly decline since comparable records began in 1955. It is the worst figure for any G7 nation in the three months to June.
Sunak, who has been borrowing heavily to pay most of the wage bills of the private sector and the self-employed since March, said, “I’ve said before that hard times were ahead and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here. “Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs and, sadly, in the coming months, many more will. But while there are difficult choices to be made ahead, we will get through this and I can assure people that nobody will be left without hope or opportunity.”
German government asked citizens to follow guidelines as health authorities reported 1,226 new infections. This is the highest number of infections since early May.
Worried that the aftermath of last week’s blast will lead to Covid infections, the World Health Organization appealed for $76m in aid for Lebanon. The explosion in capital Beirut had severely damaged or destroyed hospitals, clinics and medical supplies.
Australia recorded its deadliest day on Wednesday. The state of Victoria reported 21 deaths and 410 new cases in 24 hours.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was weighing a delay in New Zealand’s September 19 election, as experts investigated whether the virus could have re-entered the country through freight shipments