THE UK’S economy is set to bounce back “like a coiled spring” after Brits saved up to £250billion during the coronavirus lockdown, a top banker has said.
Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, believes people are likely to spend more once restrictions are lifted.
Andy Haldane believes the economy will bounce back after lockdownCredit: Getty – Contributor
Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, London, looking busy in 2019Credit: Alamy
The expert predicts that by the end of June, households in the UK will have saved up to £250billion.
He thinks a big part of that money will be spent on social occasions after Brits have not been allowed to see their friends, enjoy holidays or meals out due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The economist said most people are now “desperate to get their lives, including their social lives, back” and will seize the opportunity to do so when it is allowed.
He wrote in an article for the Daily Mail: “The recovery should be one to remember, after a year to forget.
“A year from now, annual growth could be in double-digits.”
Mr Haldane said the rapid rollout of the vaccination programme will help the economy too because with less infections and deaths, people will be able to return to spending and socialising.
The Bank’s official forecast is that the economy will shrink by 4.2 per cent in the first three months of this year due to the lockdown, but by 2022 it will return to its pre-pandemic levels.
Boris Johnson is expected to set out his “road map” for easing the lockdown on February 22.
However, Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said it is too soon to consider easing the current restrictions.
He suggested coronavirus cases need to fall below 10,000 a day before rules are eased.
Christmas shoppers crowd Oxford Street, London, in 2014Credit: Getty Images – Getty
He said: “Transmission is still incredibly high in the UK. If transmission were still at this level and we were not in lockdown, we would be going into lockdown.”
Top medic Dr Susan Hopkins said that each phase of easing coronavirus restrictions would need to be watched “very carefully”.
The Covid-19 strategic response director at Public Health England told Sky News: “I think that once we get to a very low level of community, we will need to have ongoing measures in place until the adult population are vaccinated.
“What those measures are, we will have to watch and see, but I think it is really important that we keep the rates as low as possible for as long as possible this year.”
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We want to see infection rates continue to fall across the UK, not least so that will ease the pressure on the NHS and ultimately lead to fewer people sadly dying.
“We will look at the data in the round and we will use that to inform the road map.”
Boris Johnson is expected to set out a ‘road map’ for easing the lockdown on February 22Credit: Reuters