China was the first economy that bounced back from its coronavirus losses, recording a year-over-year growth of 6.5 percent in Q4 of 2020 after having already grown by 4.9 percent in the third and by 3.2 percent in the second quarter. That means that China only recorded one quarter of negative growth due to the pandemic.
In Q4, Turkey and India joined China as countries whose quarterly GDP was growing again in year-over-year terms. In the case of India, the growth was minimal, but showed that the country’s GDP at least returned to pre-COVID levels.
Other countries can only dream of this scenario: Most European economies are experienced their fourth consecutive quarter of GDP losses in Q4, with the UK, Italy, and France being the most affected. Second-wave lockdowns which are still in place across the European continent mean that there will likely be no let-up in early 2021 either.
The U.S., which reopened its economy despite an ongoing outbreak, saw Q4 GDP growth 2.5 percent below last year’s levels despite a quarter-on-quarter bounce back. Korea and Australia experienced losses of only around one percent compared with last year, signalling at the countries’ ability to keep infection numbers in check more effectively than others. Japan also recorded a one percent loss in Q4, but this number is deceiving. The Japanese economy had already recorded a quarter of losses in Q4 of 2019, before the coronavirus crisis even started. This means that Japanese GDP remains seriously repressed.
This chart shows 2020 Q4 GDP growth and forecasts in selected countries.
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