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Working in economics

Review of the UK economy in 2020

In this article, Paul Turner of Loughborough University looks at the performance of the UK economy in 2020, a year that saw major disruption to economies around the world. He also looks ahead to the uncertain world of 2021

The government’s attempts to contain Covid-19 led to a sharp economic downturn

At the beginning of 2020, it was widely expected that Brexit would be the main economic issue of the year. In the event, the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union has proved to be something of a sideshow to the emergence of the most serious public health crisis of the last century.

Covid-19 is a contagious disease that affects respiratory functions in humans. Although its symptoms can be relatively mild, it can affect older and more vulnerable adults, i.e., those with existing respiratory problems, very severely. It has led to a significant increase in deaths among these groups. The government’s attempt to contain the spread of this disease led to a sharp downturn in economic activity in the second quarter of the year. Although the economy recovered somewhat in the second half of the year, total output remained below its pre-crisis level and the emergence of a second wave of the disease raised the possibility that the economy may again move into recession.

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Working in economics

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