- Prospects for the UK Economy
The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and the public health measures taken to limit its spread here and overseas are forecast to contribute to a fall in GDP of 10 per cent in 2020. The level of economic activity in the final quarter of last year is not likely to be regained much before the second half of 2023, and Bank Rate is not likely to rise before then. Government debt as a share of GDP is likely to be above 105 per cent next year. Extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until June 2021 could protect around a million jobs later this year at relatively small cost and with lasting economic benefits. Unemployment is likely to rise to around 10 per cent later this year and could stay above its current level in the coming years due to economic scarring and hysteresis in the labour market. Unemployment would not rise to the same extent if the government extended the furlough scheme beyond the end of October.