THE DAILY REFORMER (NEW YORK, UNITED STATES)
The British economy suffered its biggest decline in over 300 years amid strict Chinese Coronavirus lockdowns.
The British economy suffered its biggest decline in more than 300 years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic closed shops and restaurants, devastated the travel industry and curtailed manufacturing.
The economy shrank 9.9% last year, more than twice the figure for 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. The drop is the largest since 1709, when a cold spell known as the Great Frost devastated what was then a largely agricultural economy.
The data comes as Britain’s economy remains shackled by restrictions designed to combat COVID-19. A rebound in growth during the fourth quarter has been stifled by England’s third lockdown, which has closed schools, restaurants and non-essential shops since mid-December. Tough restrictions also remain in place in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The United Kingdom is doing far worse than many other European countries and the United States.
Percent Decline in GDP:
United Kingdom: 9.9%
United States: 3.5%
Lockdowns have been a disaster.
Businesses still have to pay their expenses, but lockdowns mean a lot less money coming in.
Andrew Wong, an owner of a Chinese restaurant told his story to Bloomberg:
The U.K.’s third major lockdown to control the coronavirus could be the final straw for thousands of businesses struggling to pay rent and taxes with little or no money coming in the door.
“It is costing us thousands of pounds a week, even being shut, and we have zero income,” said Andrew Wong, owner of the upmarket Chinese restaurant A. Wong in London’s fashionable Pimlico neighborhood. “I think all the time about shutting down and walking away, though I’m not going to do it.”
He isn’t the only one.
One lobby group estimates 250,000 small firms are at risk of going bust. Almost 10,000 pubs and restaurants licensed to serve alcohol closed permanently last year, according to consultants CGA and AlixPartners.
When will politicians end the lockdowns?
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