CHRIS GILMOUR: UK is in an unprecedented, long-lasting slump, but SA can bounce back quickly
Output is forecast to return to prepandemic levels only in the fourth quarter of 2022
The UK’s Covid-19 economic decline transcends anything seen before. It is far worse than the global financial crisis in 2007/2008; the early 1970s oil crisis and the later political crises that culminated in the “winter of discontent”; the Great Depression of the 1930s; and the post-World War 1 slump in which GDP contracted 25% from 1919 to 1921.
UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak forecasts that output will return to prepandemic levels only in the fourth quarter of 2022, which is a long two years away. Unemployment is expected to reach 7.5% by first quarter 2021 and government debt is forecast to hit £394bn this year, equivalent to 19% of GDP, and the highest yet in peacetime. UK debt to GDP is now about 92%, rising to 98% by 2025/2026. ..