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13 October 2021

UK set to suffer the worst economic damage from Covid-19 of any G7 country

The British economy is expected to be 2.9 per cent smaller in 2025 than forecast before Covid-19.

By Ben van der Merwe

IMF growth forecasts released this week paint a grim picture of the UK’s post-pandemic economic prospects. The UK economy is expected to be 2.9 per cent smaller in 2025 than predicted before Covid-19 – a larger reduction in expected output than any other member of the G7.

Buoyed by a record-breaking $5trn stimulus, the US economy is forecast to be 2.8 per cent larger in 2024 than the IMF predicted before the pandemic.

Japan and Canada have also seen their growth forecasts revised upwards since 2019, while Italy and Germany have seen moderate downward revisions.

The news came as parliament’s science and health committees released their joint investigation into the UK government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The committee concluded that an insufficiently stringent approach to tackling Covid-19 “led to many thousands of deaths which could have been avoided”. The report noted that the government had “desire[d] to avoid a lockdown because of the immense harm it would entail to the economy, normal health services and society”. The IMF’s forecasts suggest that the UK’s laissez-faire approach did little to shield the country from the economic toll of the pandemic.

[See also: How badly did Boris Johnson’s government handle the Covid-19 pandemic?]

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