Covid economy: The best and worst of Covid economies - experts

Matthew Oxenford, UK Analyst at The Economic Intelligence Unit, said the UK economic performance has been worse than other countries in four ways.

Mr Oxenford told “Firstly, due to the delays in taking any containment measures at the outbreak of the pandemic in March, the UK had to be in lockdown for longer than most of its European peers.

“Secondly, because of the severity of the UK outbreak, people were more reluctant to resume economic activity once the first lockdown had ended in the summer - and this can be seen in mobility data comparing the UK to other Western European countries.

“Third, the UK has a larger percentage of its total economy in services that have to be performed face to face than many European countries, and a smaller manufacturing sector - manufacturers were able to adjust to operating under social distancing relatively quickly during the pandemic, and consumer demand for goods has held up better than demand for services worldwide.

“Finally, the way the UK measures GDP (along with France, Italy and some other countries) treats the closure of public services such as schools and non-essential medical services as a decline in economic output, while other countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands continue to count those provisions, as the staff is still employed and capable of performing the services.

“This discrepancy adds a few points to the decline in countries such as the UK that measure GDP in this way.”

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