Richard Lim: How to tackle the deepest recession in 300 years

Richard Lim

The UK economy is clearly facing an extraordinary crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves across communities, financial markets and has caused paralysis within many businesses.

Reading the Bank of England’s latest assessment of the economic impact sent chills down my spine. The UK may be about to enter the worst recession in 300 years. GDP is expected to contract by 3% in the first quarter and by a further 25% in the current quarter, plunging the economy into the deepest recession since the ‘Great Frost’ of 1709.

The ‘good news’ is the expected V-shaped recovery, which will mean rapid economic growth in 2021, returning the economy to its pre-Covid-19 peak by the second half of the year. But as all economists know, models are only as good as their inputs and assumptions, and many underlying assumptions will be based on ‘best judgements’ during this horrendously uncertain period.

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