G-20 growth returns to pre-pandemic level in Q1 2021: OECD
Employees work on the silicon wafer production line at a workshop of Jiejie Semiconductor Co., Ltd. on March 17, 2021 in Nantong, China’s Jiangsu Province.
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The Group of Twenty (G-20) economies saw their gross domestic product return at pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2021, but with big differences between nations.
GDP in the G-20 area grew 0.8% in the first quarter, compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released on Thursday.
Annual GDP growth in the G-20 area rebounded to 3.4% in the first quarter of 2021, after contracting 0.7% in the previous quarter.
China, where the coronavirus pandemic first appeared, recorded the highest annual growth (18.3%), while the UK recorded the largest annual decline (minus 6.1%) .
Europe fared particularly badly in the first quarter, a period when a third wave of Covid infections swept through the region, unlike other countries.
India, Turkey and China (whose GDP was already above pre-pandemic levels in the previous quarter) continued to experience a recovery in the first quarter of 2021, with respective growth of 2.1%, 1, 7% and 0.6%.
In addition, Australia, South Korea and Brazil saw their growth return to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter.
GDP lags behind for some
But for other G-20 economies, GDP still lags behind pre-pandemic levels, with countries recording surprising divergences in the first quarter of 2021.
While GDP growth accelerated in the United States (to 1.6%, after 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020) and Italy, growth slowed in Indonesia, Canada, South Africa and in Mexico.
Growth even turned negative in Germany (-1.8%, after 0.5% growth in the fourth quarter), the United Kingdom (-1.5%, after 1.3% growth), Japan and in Saudi Arabia while in France, GDP continued to contract for the second year in a row. quarter, although at a slower pace (-0.1%, after -1.5%).
Overall, the UK and Italy recorded the largest deviations from pre-pandemic GDP levels, at -8.7% and -6.4%, respectively. But also Germany, France, the euro zone and the European Union again recorded differences of more than 4%.