What can we learn from past pandemics?

The macroeconomic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are likely to be very different from those of previous pandemics, largely because of the unprecedented response by governments and central banks. The most important lesson from history is that seismic shocks tend to accelerate changes to economic structures, institutions and behaviours that were already underway. This implies that the current pandemic could leave a legacy that touches on everything from globalisation to the future of work.
Gabriella Dickens Assistant Economist
Continue reading

More from Global Economics

Global Economics Update

Thinking through how we could be wrong on Evergrande

If, contrary to our opinion and the consensus, a collapse of Evergrande ends up having a significant impact on the rest of the world, it will be because it first causes either major financial dislocation within China or a property-led slump in China’s economy. The latter is probably the bigger risk for the global recovery. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this Global Economics Update to clients of our Emerging Markets Service.

Drop-In: Evergrande – What are the risks to China and the world? Chief Asia Economist Mark Williams and Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard will be joined by Senior Markets Economist Oliver Jones to take your questions about the Evergrande situation. They’ll be covering the implications of collapse for China’s financial system and growth outlook, and assessing the global markets fallout. Register here for the 0900 BST/1600 HKT session on Thursday, 23rd September.

22 September 2021

Global Economics Update

Surge in gas prices adds to near term price pressure

In this Update, we answer six key questions about the surge in natural gas prices. The key point is that it will keep inflation in DMs and many EMs above central bank targets for a few months longer than we had previously assumed. Governments are already preparing to limit the economic damage and central banks are likely to look through this temporary spike in inflation. But this comes at a time when a host of shortages are already pushing up prices and adds to the upside risks to our inflation and interest rate forecasts.

21 September 2021

Global Economics Chart Book

Global recovery slowing down a gear

There have been growing signs of a slowdown in the pace of the global recovery in recent months. World industrial production fell in July and retail sales declined in almost all major economies, while the business surveys suggest that activity softened again in August. To some extent, this moderation in growth has been benign, reflecting a natural normalisation of activity as the effects of past stimulus fade and output approaches or exceeds pre-virus levels. However, high frequency data on activities such as restaurant dining show that consumer caution has returned in some places as virus cases have risen again. What’s more, the surveys offer evidence that widespread shortages of goods and labour are limiting growth. With the notable exception of the euro-zone, we think that the rapid phase of the recovery is already in the rear-view mirror for the world’s major economies.

20 September 2021

More from Gabriella Dickens

Global Economics Update

PMIs imply that goods shortages are pushing up prices

The global manufacturing PMI held broadly steady in May as a sharp drop in India’s survey was offset by rises in other major economies whose recoveries appear to be continuing unabated. Meanwhile, goods shortages are exerting upward pressure on prices, and there are some signs that they are also weighing on output, particularly in the euro-zone.

1 June 2021

Global Trade Monitor

Higher costs and delays are not damaging demand

The further rise in real trade in March suggests that external demand continued to recover, even as capacity constraints related to shipping were intensifying. And while shipping costs have risen and delays worsened in the weeks since these data were recorded, so far at least, there is little evidence that these factors are weighing on external demand.

26 May 2021

Global Economics Update

PMIs: supply is struggling to keep up with demand

The flash PMIs for May suggest that the recovery is well underway in those economies that are now on top of the virus. However, supply is still struggling to keep up with surging demand. And as well as exerting upward pressure on prices, there are some tentative signs that supply shortages are starting to weigh on manufacturing output, particularly in the US and the euro-zone.

21 May 2021
↑ Back to top