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Business

‘So far, so V’: Bank of England’s chief economist sees sharp bounce-back

The UK economy is on course for a V-shaped recovery from the coronavirus crisis though the risk of a prolonged period of unemployment remains, according to the Bank of England’s chief economist.

Britain is widely expected to have entered a steep recession as a result of the lockdown – but it appears to be bouncing back more quickly than previously expected, Andy Haldane said in a webinar speech.

He said the economy was benefiting from a rebound in consumer confidence since restrictions began to ease.

Referring to the question of whether the downturn would be U-shaped – indicating a prolonged downturn – or V-shaped with a sharp bounce-back, Mr Haldane said: “It is early days, but my reading of the evidence is so far, so V.”

The remarks came as official figures showed the economy had performed even worse than initially estimated in the first quarter of the year, shrinking by 2.2% in the January-March period.

Data for April – the first full month of lockdown – shows GDP then plummeted by an unprecedented 20.4%.

But Mr Haldane said the recovery for both UK and global economies had come “sooner and faster” than the Bank of England had expected in May.

However he added that risks “remain considerable”.

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World News

Mexico City public security chief injured in assassination attempt

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The head of public security in Mexico City was injured in an assassination attempt early on Friday morning when gunmen set upon him in an upscale neighborhood of the capital, authorities said.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said on Twitter that public security chief Omar Garcia Harfuch was “out of danger” following the attack at around 6.30 a.m. on Friday morning that shocked residents of the Lomas de Chapultepec area of the city.

And unspecified number of people had died and several arrests had been made, Sheinbaum added, without giving details.

Speaking at a regular government news conference, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Garcia had been injured in the attack and attributed the outbreak of violence to the work of local officials to establish order in the city.

Residents said heavy gunfire rang out for several minutes during the attack in Lomas de Chapultepec, which is home to many wealthy residents and the location of ambassadorial residences.

Police converged on the area in the west of the city, which is rarely troubled by the violence that in recent years has afflicted many parts of the country, particularly poorer ones.

Television images showed dozens of police cordoning off a main road in the area. Mexican broadcaster Televisa said at least two police were injured in the incident.

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