Following the introduction of Covid-19 containment measures across the world since March 2020, real gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area showed an unprecedented fall, by -9.8%, in the second quarter of 2020, according to provisional estimates. This is the largest drop ever recorded for the OECD area, significantly larger than the -2.3% recorded in the first quarter of 2009, at the height of the financial crisis.

Among the Major Seven economies, GDP fell most dramatically, by -20.4%, in the UK. In France, where lockdown measures were among the most stringent, GDP declined by -13.8%, after a drop of -5.9% in the previous quarter.

GDP also fell sharply in Italy, Canada and Germany in the second quarter (by -12.4%, -12.0% and -9.7% respectively (compared with -5.4%, -2.1% and -2.0% in the previous quarter).

In the United States, where many states introduced ‘stay-at-home’ measures late March, GDP contracted slightly less (-9.5%, compared with -1.3% in the previous quarter).

In Japan, where containment measures were less stringent, GDP contracted by -7.8% in the second quarter of 2020, compared with -0.6% in the previous quarter.

In the euro area and the European Union, GDP dropped by -12.1% and -11.7% respectively, compared with declines of -3.6% and -3.2% in the previous quarter.

Year-on-year GDP growth for the OECD area was -10.9% in the second quarter of 2020, following growth of -0.9% in the previous quarter. Among the Major Seven economies, the United States recorded an annual growth of -9.5%, while the UK recorded the sharpest annual fall (-21.7%).

More details can be found at www.oecd.org