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Our views 03 September 2020

Recovery enters a second phase

By Melanie Baker, Senior Economist

5 min read

Global activity is recovering, but levels of activity remain far from normal. Policy support, lockdowns ending and the release of pent up demand helped the early stages of recovery, but large scale ongoing economic policy support is still needed. We are likely entering a slower phase of recovery.

Social distancing remains in place. Not all jobs will return; not all businesses will get through this. Some will need to repair finances, constraining willingness to spend, invest and hire. Residual fear of the virus is likely to hold back the recovery, including business fear of new lockdowns and concerns around job security. However, assuming widely available vaccines in H1 2021 and that governments continue to do a relatively good job of limiting lasting economic damage, it is likely to take several quarters, not several years, to return to pre-crisis levels of economic output.

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