The world’s economy begins to slip to levels akin to the 1930’s Great Depression as the virus halts business and work.
Chinese officials announced on Friday that the country has seen their economy shrink.
This is the first time the second largest economy in the world recorded a contraction in growth since 1976, when the country was in the final days of the Cultural Revolution.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Friday morning in Beijing that the country’s economic output shrank 6.8 percent from January through March compared to the same period last year.
The data reflects China’s dramatic efforts to stamp out the coronavirus, which included shutting down most factories and offices in January and February as the outbreak sickened tens of thousands of people.
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In 2019, China already posted its slowest growth in almost 30 years.
Over the last month, Chinese authorities have pushed to get the paralysed economy restarted with businesses and factories re-opening.
The Chinese government has also introduced policies to help households and companies.
Despite this the pandemic and attempts to contain it have sharply cut the world’s appetite for China’s goods, which could lead to factory shutdowns and worker furloughs.
It comes as China has been under fire from world leaders for it’s lack of transparency over the virus.
Dominic Raab, the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister, said that the country should not expect “business as usual” after the pandemic passes.
“I think there absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event review of the lessons – including of the outbreak of the virus – and I don’t think we can flinch from that at all, it needs to be driven by the science.
“There is no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis, and we will have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it couldn’t have been stopped earlier.”