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Britain faces biggest economic shock in 300 years if coronavirus lockdown extends to summer

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Britain will suffer its deepest recession for 300 years if the coronavirus lockdown continues into the summer, according to the budget watchdog, as the Chancellor warned of “tough times” to come.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said the economy could shrink by 35 per cent this spring, with unemployment soaring by two million to its highest level since the nineties. It came as the International Monetary Fund said the global economy was heading for its biggest slump since the Great Depression of the thirties.

The OBR also said government borrowing could hit its highest level since the Second World War. Rishi Sunak stressed that the forecast – which assumes the lockdown continues for another two months – was “just one potential scenario”, but said it was “important that we’re honest” about the economic impact of the virus causing “hardship ahead”….

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