The OECD’s economic forecasts are a bit shocking to say the least. The TL;DR version is France, Italy and the UK see 11%+ falls in GDP if there’s a single lockdown. Add another 4% if a second lockdown happens. Although parts of the press has jumped on the UK’s table leading 11.5% fall, there’s not much in it.
To be honest, whether the result is an 11.5% or 15% drop in GDP is of little comfort. Since the start of June over 17,000 job losses have been announced in the UK – a mix of restructuring and business failures. More will come as the furlough scheme ends, lockdown eases and we venture outside (or – more likely – not).
Then there’s investment. Lower revenues and profits means less to invest in much-needed productivity gains, new technology and so on. This will drag on the recovery. My models suggest 4-5 years before we’re back to where we are now.
My concern is we’ll see “where we are now” as the goal. There’s some interesting lessons we’ve gained from lockdown about work/life balance, environmental impacts and how society functions. It would be a shame to lose them.
Maybe rather than “where we are now”, we should aim for “somewhere better”.