The Office for Budget Responsibility -- or OBR -- has warned that Covid-19 lockdown measures could cause the economy to shrink by as much as 35 per cent by June. However, it has also said that it does not expect there to be lasting damage.
The chancellor played the announcement down in the government's briefing, however, and said that these numbers are "just one outcome", describing the British economy as "fundamentally sound".
The OBR, he said, expected the numbers to be "temporary" before a "bounce back" in growth. The "planned economic response" the chancellor set out was "helping millions", he said.
The ONS, another independent body, has announced that figures showed one in five deaths to be somehow linked to coronavirus for the week beginning March 30.
They were indicative of an expected increase of around 6,000 for this week in the calendar on last year -- something that ONS official Nick Stripe described as "not normal".
There are now over 90,000 confirmed cases in the UK, with the death toll standing at 12,107.
In other financial news, the IMF has predicted that the global economy will decline by around three per cent, but expects growth to rebound to 5.8 per cent next year if the pandemic decreases.
The next Leaders Council update will follow tomorrow morning.