Economic recovery

Inflation is the biggest threat to Boris

The vaccines are rolling out. Lockdown is easing, the EU has been forgotten about, and the Labour party has returned to its traditional pastime of plotting furiously against its leader. No one is even talking about wallpaper anymore. Things could hardly be going better for Boris Johnson, and that has been reflected in local election results and in the polls. There is one looming threat, however. The return of inflation. In truth, rising prices have been destroying governments for a hundred years, and it would be complacent to imagine this one will be the exception. President Biden has embarked on a tax, spend and borrowing spree the like of which

Andrew Bailey’s note of Covid caution

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Andrew Bailey threw his support behind one of the more optimistic scenarios for a post-Covid economic recovery: that the UK will be back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. The combination of the UK’s hugely successful vaccine rollout combined with increased levels of lockdown immunity – that is, the economic impact of restrictions ‘reducing as we all adapt’ – had the Governor of the Bank of England suggesting that we could see a full recovery by the end of the year (notably earlier than the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Budget forecast of roughly the middle of next year). Bailey

How new Covid restrictions are stalling the economy

The theory behind a V-shaped recovery relied on the assumption that the economy would open up almost as quickly as it shut down. This did not happen. The UK moved at a much slower pace than its European counterparts exiting stringent lockdown measures. And already restrictions are being implemented again. August’s GDP figures were surprisingly dismal, and now all future monthly updates for economic growth will be affected by a longer list of restrictions that are bound to impact recovery. As a result, scenarios for the UK’s economic recovery are being revised to reflect this. In the last day, we’ve had two updates: one from the IFS’s Green Budget (in association with

Should we abandon hopes of a V-shaped recovery?

It is an uptick so small that it could almost be comic, but the UK economy started to grow in May: by 1.8 per cent following a 20 per cent slump in April. Office for National Statistics figures out today show that, even in lockdown, surging online retail sales – coupled with signs of a recovery in construction – show a small increase in GDP. The big question is what shape we can now see: a L, a Nike swoosh or a sharp V? Reopening the economy can only go so far: tackling people’s fear of Covid-19 is key for a V-shaped recovery Today’s increase suggests growth is  – every so