Following the introduction of COVID-19 containment measures across the world since March 2020, real gross domestic product (GDP) in the countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperative and Development (OECD) showed an unprecedented fall, by (minus) 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 (minus) 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 (minus) 20.4%, in the United Kingdom. In France, where lockdown measures were among the most stringent, GDP declined by (minus) 13.8%, after a drop of (minus) 5.9% in the previous quarter.
GDP also fell sharply in Italy, Canada and Germany in the second quarter (by (minus) 12.4%, (minus) 12.0% and (minus) 9.7% respectively.
In the United States, where many states introduced ‘stay-at-home’ measures late March, GDP contracted slightly less ((minus) 9.5%.
In Japan, where containment measures were less stringent, GDP contracted by (minus) 7.8% in the second quarter of 2020.
In the euro area and the European Union, GDP dropped by (minus) 12.1% and (minus) 11.7% respectively.
Year-on-year GDP growth for the OECD area was minus 10.9% in the second quarter of 2020, following growth of minus 0.9% in the previous quarter. Among the major seven economies, the United States recorded an annual growth of minus 9.5%, while the United Kingdom recorded the sharpest annual fall (minus 21.7%).
Source: OECD August 26, 2020 news release