Coronavirus: United Kingdom, facing worst recession on record, sees GDP drop 20.4% in Q2

The UK has seen its economy, hit by the coronavirus crisis, suffer a "record" contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter, and is officially facing its worst recession on record, agency figures show National Statistics (ONS), published Wednesday 12 August. 
Economists consider that a country enters a technical recession when it accumulates two consecutive quarters of contraction in its economy. According to the ONS, most of the contraction, which began to be felt in March, occurred in April, an entire month of containment and almost total cessation of activity in the country, which saw production collapsed by 20%.

With a very early recovery in construction sites and manufacturing activity, gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded in May by 2.4% (revised figure), followed by an acceleration in June (+8.7 %) thanks in particular to the reopening of all shops. This is the biggest contraction in the UK economy since the ONS began these quarterly statistics in 1955, he said…

"A first", "a new step", "a signal of unity": the European post-coronavirus recovery plan

After five days of negotiations, the 27 countries of the European Union reached an agreement on Tuesday July 21 in Brussels for a post-coronavirus plan of 750 billion euros for the European countries that have suffered the most from the Covid-19 crisis.
 
"A first", "a new step", "a signal of unity": the European post-coronavirus recovery plan

Starting with Sylvain Kahn, for whom "Europe is becoming a state". According to the historian-geographer, professor at Sciences Po Paris, and author in 2018 of a History of the construction of Europe since 1945 published by PUF, "the great novelty" with this agreement, "is that everything suddenly, we realize that the European State exists and that it exists, not as a substitute, but in addition to the Member States which are member states of the European Union. "

Some "positive" but also "some regrets"

"It is a one-off response to an exceptional crisis" but "I have no doubt that we will learn lessons", commented for his part the economist Jean Pisani-Ferry, professor at Sciences-Po and author of Emmanuel Macron's program during his presidential campaign. "We broke two important taboos, one on debt and the other on transfers," he commented. "It is an agreement which is nevertheless very positive", added Jean Pisani-Ferry, senior fellow at the Bruegel center in Brussels, "even if there were a certain number of concessions and some regrets" notably "the concession which was made to Hungary on conditionality relating to the rule of law in the beneficiary countries ".




"This is a first. A new step in European construction. After the single currency, after the internal market, the 27 have decided that there will be a common debt", reacted Pascale Joannin, Director General of the Robert Foundation Schuman. According to her, this agreement represents "a small further federal step" she said.

The Franco-German couple was very united throughout the negotiations.
Pascale Joannin, from the Robert Shuman Foundation

Finally for Yves Bertoncini, president of the European Movement in France, this plan is "a signal of unity, a federal-type advance. The consultant in European Affairs considers that the plan, based on a common debt," will be repaid quite easily " He mentions "a forceps delivery" which gave birth to "a beautiful baby", even if "it is not as rosy as one might have hoped".