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Will the Economic Strategy Work?

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31.03.2020

PARIS – With the COVID-19 crisis bringing France to a halt, Insee, the French statistical institute, puts the drop in economic activity relative to normal at 35%. It reckons that the fall in household consumption is of a similar magnitude.

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    These numbers imply that each additional month of lockdown reduces annual GDP by three percentage points. And sectoral situations are obviously worse: business output is down 40%, manufacturing output down 50%, and some services sectors have come to a complete standstill. Ex ante estimates for Germany and the United Kingdom are similar, and, if anything, corresponding numbers may be larger in economies with a smaller public sector.

    Because even thriving companies can be killed in a matter of weeks by a shock of this magnitude, governments have reacted in a........

    © Project Syndicate