Questions and answers about coronavirus and the UK economy

Pensions, savings & investment

Who has financed higher government spending during the pandemic?

Borrowing by the UK government has hit peacetime highs this year. Often such increases in public debt rest on borrowing from abroad – but in this crisis, a sharp rise in domestic saving by households has offset public spending. In effect, the government has borrowed from taxpayers.

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How might coronavirus affect older workers?

Recent years have seen considerable efforts to encourage older people to stay in the labour market for longer. With the health risks from Covid-19 rising with age, the pandemic and the economic downturn may affect both their ability and desire to do so.

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How will coronavirus affect occupational pensions?

The recent volatility of financial markets and the monetary policy response to the Covid-19 crisis have led to renewed concerns about the funding of occupational pensions. The impact will be felt by scheme sponsors and members – and in the viability of the Pension Protection Fund.

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How is coronavirus affecting the finances of UK universities?

As the Covid-19 crisis progresses, the consequences for the UK’s higher education sector are gradually becoming clearer. All universities face a hit to their finances, but it is mostly institutions with weak pre-crisis finances that are at risk of insolvency.

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How do changes in asset prices affect the real economy?

There were big falls in share prices well before we grasped the likely severity of the pandemic and the economic impact of coronavirus. So what are the interactions between asset prices and economic activity – and what might price changes imply for future output growth?

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What explains stock market reactions to the pandemic?

Share prices around the world fell dramatically earlier this year amid fears about the financial implications of the pandemic, but since then prices have recovered around half of their losses. How can we explain what has been happening on the stock market?

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Funded by

UKRI Economic and Social Research Council
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