The past year has provided a relentlessly grim stream of economic statistics as governments around the world have grappled with the spread of Covid-19.
As we enter the much-needed Easter bank holiday weekend, the IOE&IT Daily Update sees five reasons for optimism as we head into the spring…
UK recovery under way
Despite the biggest dip in GDP in 300 years and the worst hit to growth among G7 nations, the UK is now on course to make a speedy recovery.
Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey told Sky News that growth for 2021 should rebound to 5% with 7.25% growth predicted for 2022.
Global goods trade up
This comes as the WTO has hiked its growth forecast for goods trade this year, which Reuters reports is now at 8% for 2021.
The Geneva-based trade body said accelerated vaccine distribution and faster lockdown easing could boost global trade by 2.5%, with a return to its pre-pandemic level in the fourth quarter.
Not as bad as 2008
The IMF has predicted that the impact of Covid-19 will not be as severe as the financial crash in 2008, the Times reports.
Its ‘World Economic Outlook’ showed that global GDP in 2024 would be 3% smaller than its pre-pandemic forecasts.
However, this is not as severe as the hit after 2009, when “lasting damages over a comparable period were almost 10% for the world as a whole”.
Jabbing the world
Enough vaccines could be produced to inoculate 70% of the world’s population this year, the Guardian reports.
This “could blunt the pandemic years sooner than predicted”, according to a report from the Duke University Global Health Innovation Centre.
Investment in capacity has transformed vaccine production, which delivered five billion doses of prior to the pandemic, but has now more than doubled this to 12 billion-a-year.
Capacity will continue to grow in 2022 and more vaccines are expected to be approved.
Spend, spend, spend
Britons will have stashed away £180bn during the pandemic, and could be set for a multi-billion splurge, according to This Is Money.
A combination of savings on commuting, eating out, holidays and retail, plus government furlough cash, has made many Brits cash rich.
The Office for Budget Responsibility expects around £45bn of these accidental savings to be spent over the next five years, providing a valuable boost to the economy.
It expected consumer spending to return to pre-pandemic levels in the first three months of 2022.