We are likely to see a significant fiscal and monetary stimulus across the UK, eurozone and US in the coming days — lots more spending (e.g. tomorrow’s UK budget), and probably significant easing by the Bank of England, ECB and Fed (presumably measures to increase the flow of cheap credit to cash-strapped businesses and individuals, rather than pointless discount rate cuts).
But all of that could be a temporary markets steroid unless the spread of virus is decelerated.
So what really matters are stats on daily increases in infections, and whether what is happening in China and Korea — namely a sharp slowdown in new Covid-19 cases — is artificial suppression or genuine victory.
All eyes are therefore on the Italian lockdown and how effective that will be.
Robert Peston is ITV’s political editor. This article originally appeared on his ITV news blog