Coronavirus cost to economy unveiled in new figures


Raft of key figures set to be released highlighting economic turmoil wrought by coronavirus crisis

A raft of key figures will be released this week highlighting the economic turmoil wrought by the coronavirus crisis. 

Employment figures due on Thursday will reveal how many more people lost their jobs in June over the 622,000 during the previous three months. 

Gross domestic product figures come out on Tuesday and are expected to show only a modest rebound in May after April’s 20.4 per cent collapse. 

Turmoil: Coronavirus has negatively impacted everyone’s day-to-day life both at home and at work

George Buckley, chief UK economist at Nomura, said the figure for the number of paid employees is the best guide to the health of the labour market. 

The benefits claimant count rose by 1.5million to 2.8million during March, April and May, but this includes unemployed and those whose incomes are topped up by Universal Credit. 

‘It would seem job losses peaked in April,’ said Buckley. ‘But this could lead to a false sense of security. Once the furlough scheme is wound down, firms will have to make tough decisions. 

‘There is a grave risk that, when Government support is withdrawn, a substantial number will look at parts of their workforce and say, ‘We need to get rid of these people.’ This will start to bite in August.’ 

Dhaval Joshi, chief European strategist with BCA Research, said: ‘A lot of firms have been waiting to see if the disruption to their business is temporary, in which case they can live through it, or structural, in which case they cannot and the current employment level is not viable.’ 


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