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UK Economy To Witness 'slower' Recovery Amid COVID-19 Crisis: OBR Head

Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus as the UK is slowly lifting restrictions, the country’s economy is unlikely to recover drastically.


Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus as the UK is slowly lifting restrictions, the country’s economy is unlikely to recover drastically instead the development would be slow. UK’s budget forecasting office has said on May 17 that the nationwide shutdown to curb the further spread of COVID-19 disease could have cost 30 per cent of its output last month. According to reports, Robert Chote the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted that the lowest crash in the economy was apparently recorded in April but it shall now improve as the government has now moved on to easing some of the restrictions. 

In an interview with an international media outlet, Chote said that “probably” April was the “worst” for the UK economy and it should be the lowest that output would go. Just last month the OBR had said that Britain’s gross domestic product could plunge by at least 13 per cent in 2020 which is also the biggest collapse recorded in over 300 years. Chote has also predicted a “rather slower recovery” of the situation in the country and will finally reach to where the authorities would have expected by the end of 2020. He also noted that the speed of recovery would fairly dependent on how quickly the restrictions are lifted. 

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Economy depends on lockdown ease

The UK has been facing challenges with the easing of the restrictions too. While UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his government’s plan to mark the gradual return of life to normalcy, the new rules have led to more confusion. There was reportedly a widespread criticism of the new rules that are complex even according to the UK PM.  Johnson acknowledged that some people must “feel frustrated” with some of the new rules that the government imposed to ease the lockdown and said, “I understand”. 

Earlier this week the UK lawmakers had begun easing the restrictions in England and allowed people who were unable to work remotely to go their offices. The changes were not applicable on Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. While people had called out on government over these new rules being confusing and delivering mixed messages, Johnson said that the government is trying to implement regulations that have never been done before in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. 

Johnson said, “I understand that people will feel frustrated with some of the new rules. We are trying to do something that has never had to be done before - moving the country out of a full lockdown, in a way which is safe and does not risk sacrificing all of your hard work.”

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(With agency inputs)

(Image Source: AP)

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