The US economy suffered its most severe contraction in more than a decade in the first quarter of the year, as the country introduced lockdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The world’s largest economy sank at an annual rate of 4.8%, according to official figures released on Wednesday.
It marked the first contraction since 2014, ending a record expansion.
But the figures just hint at the full crisis, since many of the restrictions were not put in place until March.
The pandemic “is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world”, policymakers at America’s central bank said on Wednesday.
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Half of the world’s workers are in danger of having their livelihoods destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic, a United Nations agency has warned.
The International Labour Organisation’s updated analysis emphasises its severe impact on people in informal work.
It says many have already suffered massive damage to their capacity to earn a living.
Without alternative income, these workers and their families would have no means to survive, it says.
The new analysis says 1.6 billion people’s livelihoods are threatened by the virus, equivalent to almost half the global workforce.