Coronavirus warning: UK faces worst downturn for 300 years

Published on 7 May 2020

The Bank of England has warned that the UK is heading for an unprecedented recession. It says the economy is on course for the sharpest annual contraction for 300 years, with the coronavirus pandemic dramatically reducing jobs and incomes.

The Governor of the Bank of England said the economy is expected to contract by 14%, twice as big a downturn as the great crash of 2008. Unemployment could double to 9% although the Bank of England is forecasting that the economy will bounce back next year.

Meanwhile The Prime Minister will make a public statement on Sunday setting out the next stages of lockdown and any plans to ease it. But Boris Johnson has said his government will “advance with maximum caution”.

In Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made clear that she will not be pressured into acting too early to ease the lockdown, saying getting it right is “a matter of life and death”.

Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reports from Economics Editor Faisal Islam and Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg.

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