On Tuesday, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) issued a dire warning about the economic repercussions of a prolonged lockdown. “Each month of full economic lockdown reduces monthly output by 35 per cent… and therefore takes around 3 per cent off a full year’s real GDP,” the OBR warned. But its analysts were optimistic about the long-term resilience of the economy, predicting a quick bounce-back once restrictions are lifted.
However, as the New Statesman’s special correspondent Harry Lambert reports today, some experts are concerned that this optimism is misplaced. “Growth could fall further and may recover less slowly,” Harry writes. “But whatever the precise impact to the UK, these dire numbers – along with the accompanying surge in the UK’s debt-to-GDP ratio, from 79 per cent at present to a forecast of 95 per cent next year – only confirm that the lockdown will have to be weakened, not strengthened, over the summer.”