Following the introduction of COVID-19 containment measures across the world since March 2020, real gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area 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 (compared with (minus) 5.4%, (minus) 2.1% and (minus) 2.0% in the previous quarter).
In the United States, where many states introduced ‘stay-at-home’ measures late March, GDP contracted slightly less ((minus) 9.5%, compared with (minus) 1.3% in the previous quarter).
In Japan, where containment measures were less stringent, GDP contracted by (minus) 7.8% in the second quarter of 2020, compared with (minus) 0.6% in the previous quarter.
In the euro area and the European Union, GDP dropped by (minus) 12.1% and (minus) 11.7% respectively, compared with declines of (minus) 3.6% and (minus) 3.2% in the previous quarter.
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%).