Britain’s economy could shrink by 13% this year due to the government’s coronavirus shutdown, its deepest recession in three centuries, and public borrowing is set to surge to a post-World War Two high, the country’s budget forecasters said.
In the April-June period alone, the economic output could plunge by 35%, with the unemployment rate more than doubling to 10%, the Office for Budget Responsibility said on Tuesday. A bounce-back may come later in the year if restrictions on public life to slow the spread of the coronavirus are lifted, it added.
The OBR stressed it was not making an official forecast, given the lack of clarity about how long the government would require businesses to remain closed to the public. The OBR assumes a full shutdown for three months, followed by a gradual lifting over a further three-month period.