US GDP contracted by a record-shattering 32.9% pace last quarter

Coronavirus pandemic pushes U.S. economy to worst-ever contraction

The coronavirus pandemic led to the largest GDP plunge in American history, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, citing preliminary data.

The historic decline marked a third consecutive quarter of negative growth in a worsening recession.

The United States GDP suffered the worst recorded drop in American history in Q2 2020, an annualized rate of almost 33 percent.

"In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 5.0 percent", the BEA declared, noting, however, that the Q2 "estimate" is "based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency".

Spain depends on tourism for 12.3 per cent of its economic output.

Construction fell by 24 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, and industry by 18.5 percent. The data also showed drops in consumer investment on single-family housing and transportation equipment, and a drop in business inventory investment from retail companies such as motor vehicle dealers.

Analysts at Capital Economics said they were expecting the Spanish economy to contract by 12 percent this year "with a return to pre-virus size years away".

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France's economy shrank by almost 14% in the second quarter when the country was in coronavirus lockdown, a third consecutive quarter of negative growth in a worsening recession, the national statistics agency said Friday.

Why it matters: Widespread lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic from ravaged the economy in a way that's never been seen in modern times, and hope for a swift recovery has been dashed as cases have surged nationwide.

But as virus cases in the United States surge and some areas re-impose restrictions on activity, that trajectory is in doubt.

"This moment has passed, it is true that after resisting (the virus) came the economic revival, and now we must focus on what the economic recovery means".

While activity picked up again in May and June as states started to reopen, it wasn't enough to undo the damage of the lockdowns.

According to Spain's Economy Minister Nadia Calvino, the measures taken by the government to prop up the economy - such as extending its furlough scheme, state-sponsored loans and subsidies for the self-employed - enabled the country to avoid "a collapse in GDP of more than 25 per cent". It was the 19th straight week that more than 1 million people have applied for jobless aid.

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