LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England warned Thursday that the British economy could suffer its deepest annual contraction in more than three centuries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, before roaring back next year.
In what it describes as a “plausible” scenario, the bank said the British economy will be 30% smaller at the end of the first half of the year than it was at the start of it, with the second quarter seeing a 25% slump alone following a 3% decline in the first.
Unemployment is projected to more than double to around 9%, but that figure does not include the 6 million workers who have been retained by firms as part of a scheme that sees the government pay up to 80% of salaries. Many of those people furloughed may end up losing their jobs if the economy fails to recover as anticipated or the government starts withdrawing its support too soon.
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