With economic activity picking up and the national budget coming up soon, economists are updating their forecasts and detailing their outlooks for the year. And while the economy is in recovery mode after a setback in the third quarter of last year, it is still far from buoyant.

“Growth in granny gear,” was the way HSBC economist David Faulkner described it in a recent note. The bank’s activity tracker shows a weak second half of 2021, with the recovery punctured by the July unrest, third wave lockdown curbs, worsening energy shortages and strike action. The energy constraint is expected to impose a low ceiling on how fast the economy can expand in 2022, says the bank, even though there is some better news...

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