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Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey

What form recovery will take in Northern Ireland after coronavirus lockdown still up in air

Richard Ramsey


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Airline chief Willie Walsh has said it's unlikely the industry will return to normal before 2024

Airline chief Willie Walsh has said it's unlikely the industry will return to normal before 2024

Airline chief Willie Walsh has said it's unlikely the industry will return to normal before 2024

We are now in the midst of a record-breaking period for the global economy, but for all the wrong reasons. With data now available for April, the first full month lockdown restrictions were in force in most major western nations, most indicators make for depressing reading.

To take just a handful of examples, car sales in Britain were down 97% compared with last year, with the lowest number of new registrations since 1946. In the US the unemployment rate has hit nearly 15%, a post-war high. Meanwhile, in the UK, almost 11 million workers are currently being supported by the chancellor's Job Retention and Self-Employed Income Support Schemes.

The Government's Covid-19 policies to date have committed an additional £118bn of public spending for the current financial year alone ( £324m per day). In the space of nine weeks the Federal Reserve's interventions have seen it expand its balance sheet by $2.6trn. For a period that involved printing dollars at the rate of $1m per second.