The long and short of the recession: when do we make a U-turn?

Business

The long and short of the recession: when do we make a U-turn?

Will the global economic slump be a V, a U, a W, or, heaven forbid, an L? We asked the experts

Tim Wallace

The global economy faces an extraordinary crunch on a scale comparable with the 2008 financial crisis or even the 1930s.

Measures to stop coronavirus spreading have halted international travel, decimating the tourism industry. Domestic transport is deserted. Already-struggling malls are in dire straits as customers stay away. Leisure is in lockdown, with cinemas closed and citizens urged to steer clear of bars and restaurants. Just how bad is this for the economy? And for how long will the recession last?

Early indicators point to a record slump in terms of the speed of decline. “At least for the months March to May, the drop in economic output in much of Europe is likely to exceed that seen from September 2008 to April 2009, possibly by a significant margin,” says Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank...

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