Sept. 14 (UPI) — A world economic organization said Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial toll on the world’s largest economies was significantly more severe than the 2009 financial crisis.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that the gross domestic product of the world’s G20 nations dropped by 6.9%, compared with a 1.6% decline recorded in the worst quarter of the 2009 recession.
China was the only country to report growth in GDP during the second quarter, because the virus hit China early, and the economic effects of a government shutdown were felt in the first quarter. The Chinese GDP grew by 11.5 percent in the second quarter, the OECD said.
But the rest of the world felt the economic pinch of public health shutdowns and the financial drains of medical crises worldwide.
“GDP contracted by an average of -11.8% in all other G20 economies [besides China] in the second quarter of 2020, when the effects of the pandemic began to be more widely felt,” the agency said in the report.
Economies dropped most dramatically in India, where GDP fell by 25.2% and Britain, which dropped by 20.4%. Mexico’s GDP dropped by 17.1%, followed by South Africa (-16.4%), France (-13.8%), Italy (-12.8%) Canada (-11.5%) and Turkey (-11%).
The United States GDP dropped by 9.1%, slightly less than Brazil and Germany, which both recorded drops of 9.7%, the report said.
The OEDC is an economic group representing 37 countries that cooperate with trade agreements and economic policies. The G20 nations (including the European Union) account for 85% of the world economy, 75% of global trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population.
The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.4% from a high of 14.7% in April, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, but still 4.14 million U.S. residents remain unemployed due to the pandemic.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported at the end of August that the U.S. economy had plunged nearly 32% in the second quarter of 2020, but that government rescue payments through the CARES Act had blunted the economic effects of the pandemic by keeping businesses afloat.