In halting the spread of the virus, the evidence is patchy. In strangling economies, that’s more certain. From Moneyweb.
Recent research by accounting software company QuickBooks provides a fascinating view into the global impact of Covid-19 lockdowns on economic performance.
The table below lays it out. It compares days in lockdown with expected economic performance in 2020.
Russia’s economy is expected to contract 26% this year with just 43 days in lockdown. The UK went 99 days in hard lockdown and its economy is likely to contract 19% this year.
Then comes SA: a 16% economic contraction with 60 days of lockdown (before lockdown restrictions were relaxed).
The hard lockdowns and shuttering of businesses such as restaurants and hotels had a devastating economic impact.
“Policymakers have had the difficult decision of when to implement lockdown, the severity of restrictions, and how long to keep measures in place for,” says the QuickBooks study.
“Lockdown restrictions have been met with both open arms and criticism in places all over the world. For example, in South Africa, the strictest measures were put in place to combat some of the highest levels of the virus. The country banned the sale of alcohol and tobacco.”
The countries with the most severe economic contractions are:
- Russia (26%)
- UK (19%)
- South Africa (16%)
- Spain (14%)
- Hungary (14%)
The countries with the lowest economic contraction of GDP are:
- Australia (5%)
- Switzerland (8%)
- Canada (8%)
- Italy (10%)
- Norway (11%)
The UK experienced the longest lockdown, followed by Spain.
Three of the five countries that have spent the least amount of time in lockdown have experienced the lowest contraction in GDP. Switzerland experienced 42 days in lockdown, and Australia and Canada 49 days.
|Country||Dates in lockdown||Days in lockdown||GDP 2019 ($)||GDP 2020 forecast ($)||% change|
|Russia||30 March – 12 May||43||1 700 billion||1 250 billion||-26%|
|UK||16 March – 23 June||99||2 827 billion||2 280 billion||-19%|
|South Africa||26 March – 25 May||60||351 billion||295 billion||-16%|
|Spain||14 March – 20 June||98||1 394 billion||1 200 billion||-14%|
|Hungary||28 March – 6 June||70||161 billion||139 billion||-14%|
|France||17 March – 11 May||55||2 715 billion||2 400 billion||-12%|
|Germany||22 March – 20 April||29||3 845 billion||3 400 billion||-12%|
|Norway||12 March – 15 June||95||403 billion||360 billion||-11%|
|Italy||9 March – 18 May||70||2 001 billion||1 800 billion||-10%|
|Canada||16 March – 4 May||49||1 736 billion||1 590 billion||-8%|
|Switzerland||16 March – 27 April||42||703 billion||650 billion||-8%|
|Australia||20 March – 8 May||49||1 392 billion||1 320 billion||-5%|
* The United States did not enter an overall nationwide lockdown. Rather, each state had its own lockdown. Source: QuickBooks, Trading Economics.