Daily Express

Sunak: Recession to be grim but UK can ‘rise stronger’

- By Sam Lister

BRITAIN is facing a severe recession but will “emerge stronger” when the economy reignites, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said yesterday.

The country took an economic hit of two per cent, the worst rate since the height of the financial crash, before the full impact of the virus crisis even struck.

Ministers are braced for a much bigger slump between April and June because of the effects of lockdown.

Experts warned of a “recession to end all recessions” but said there was hope of a swift recovery when restrictio­ns ease.

Waves of workers began to return to their jobs yesterday after those who were unable to carry out business from home were encouraged to head back.

Ministers also reopened the housing market for buyers and renters in a move that is hoped to kickstart the economy.

Mr Sunak said the Government’s job retention furlough scheme would also steer the country through recession.

He said: “In common with pretty much every other economy we’re facing severe impact from the coronaviru­s. You’re seeing that in the numbers.

“That’s why we’ve taken the unpreceden­ted action that we have to support people’s jobs, their incomes and livelihood­s at this time, and support businesses, so we can get through this period of severe disruption and emerge stronger on the other side.”

Office for National Statistics figures showed activity plunged 5.8 per cent in March in the biggest monthly fall since records began in 1997.

That sent Gross Domestic Product tumbling two per cent overall in the first quarter – but the full impact is yet to show.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the second quarter’s loss will be “more dramatic” and could possibly see the economy contract by more than a quarter, which he warned was “more than it has ever done in history”.

 ??  ?? Chancellor Rishi Sunak gets ready to give his message yesterday
Chancellor Rishi Sunak gets ready to give his message yesterday

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