Patrick Minford's picture
Affiliation: 
Cardiff Business School
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Lockdowns and UK Economic Performance

Question 2: How much will the new lockdown measures introduced on Thursday November 5 hurt UK economic activity this year relative to a counterfactual with the milder measures adopted over the summer?

Answer:
Small damage
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
It seems that most of the economy has now found ways of working around lockdown. There will be disruption of hospitality and travel which were beginning to recover; the extent is hard to gauge but given that the lockdown ends by December, it should be limited.

Question 3: Using not only the policy tools that have been part of the UK policy mix thus far but also policy tools implemented in other countries, to what extent does the government face a tradeoff between saving lives and preserving livelihoods? 

Answer:
Small tradeoff
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Had the government focused on preventing infection among vulnerable groups, including in care homes and hospitals, it could have saved many lives while causing less disruption to the economy.

Question 1: How much of the decline in GDP experienced to date would have been avoided in the absence of any lockdown measures or other policy interventions (such as fiscal support)?

Answer:
A substantial portion or the entire decline
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Had the government followed Swedish-style policies of social advice, there would have been a fall as people took social distancing measures. But it would have been much reduced, as indeed was the Swedish fall.

Will COVID-19 Cause Permanent Damage to the UK Economy?

Question 2: Which aspect of the economy poses the greatest risk for a slow recovery?

Answer:
None of the above, other, or no opinion
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Given the sharp rebound I expect, none of these permanent effects are likely. My main concern is with possibly high inflation from the massive growth in money supply produced by QE and liberalisation of the banks. I would like to see monetary tightening and QE with drawal once recovery is in place, eg early 2021.

Question 1: How quickly will the economy rebound (e.g. to the pre-pandemic trend) once the COVID-19 pandemic has been contained and absent major policy interventions? 

Answer:
The economy will recover rapidly (e.g. within a year), with limited lasting effects on the supply and demand side of the economy.
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The recession has been directly caused by lockdown. Lockdown is now being eased and the disease is dying out in its current 'wave'. Future local new outbreaks are containable by localised social reaction. Any totally new wave should come from a much weaker strain of the virus, the strong strains having died out as the result of deaths and survivors' antibodies killing them in the first wave. As this pans out popular behaviour will return to normal, in line with cumulative easing. The economy should restore activity in Q3 and Q4.

Pages