Questions and answers about coronavirus and the UK economy

Trade & supply chains

How can competition authorities tackle price rises in a crisis?

From the outset of the pandemic, there were reports of retailers charging exceptionally high prices for certain products, notably hand sanitiser. Investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority have played an important role in quelling the practice.

Read more

#economicsfest: What future for farming and the food supply chain?

The UK’s agriculture sector faces multiple challenges to which it must adapt quickly – including Brexit, Covid-19 and environmental degradation. Higher public spending and agricultural policy reforms offer an opportunity to re-evaluate our approach to the countryside.

Read more

Should selective government support replace the job furlough schemes?

As the UK’s job furlough scheme winds down, the government has shifted towards measures to support businesses and employees in local lockdowns. But even if Covid-19 eases, policy-makers will need to retain the capacity for selective sectoral assistance – and clarity on ‘state aid’.

Read more

How is coronavirus affecting emerging markets and developing economies?

The output losses in low- and middle-income countries triggered by the Covid-19 crisis are likely to leave long-lasting scars, reducing potential growth. The UK is not insulated from the economic fallout due to trade links and financial exposure.

Read more

How can production network analysis inform policy on Covid-19?

The economy is characterised by intricate linkages between consumers, businesses and sectors across national and global supply chains. Production network analysis provides insights into the effects of imposing and lifting lockdowns – and policies to support recovery.

Read more

What will happen if trade and mobility are permanently reduced?

It is unclear how long restrictions on trade and travel will remain in place – and too soon to say if coronavirus will permanently reduce cross-border flows of goods, services and people. But there is plenty of evidence on the potential damage to the world economy.

Read more

How has coronavirus affected prices in the supermarket?

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the closure of cafés and restaurants, a big increase in home working and some people engaged in panic buying. This has fed through to an increase in spending in supermarkets and food retailers – and driven up grocery prices.

Read more

Does the world economy face a danger from rising protectionism?

The Great Recession of 2008/09 seems to have broken the link between recessions and higher barriers to imports. During the coronavirus crisis, new forms of protectionism, such as export controls and trade-distorting stimulus programmes pose a more serious risk to unfettered trade.

Read more

What are the lessons for today from running a wartime economy?

The world continues to experience episodes that remind us of the profound disruptions of twentieth-century wartime. But how far does the war analogy stretch? Covid-19 has been able to disrupt our economy at a speed that no foreign enemy has ever matched.

Read more

Which firms and industries have been most affected by Covid-19?

Almost all UK businesses have been badly affected by the spread of Covid-19, but some industries have been hit harder than others. Financial market data and surveys of firms themselves provide insights into the scale of the impact on sales, employment, supply chains and business uncertainty.

Read more

Should Brexit trade policy changes be delayed because of Covid-19?

Brexit has happened – but the nature of the UK’s future economic and political relationship with the European Union is yet to be determined. There is a strong case for extending the transition period to allow both sides to focus on dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

Read more

What happens to trade in a global downturn?

World trade typically falls far more than world GDP in a global downturn, but then bounces back quickly. Early indications suggest that the contraction in trade in the looming Covid-19 recession will be even bigger than what followed the 2007/08 global financial crisis.

Read more

Funded by

UKRI Economic and Social Research Council
Skip to main content