The relaxation of lockdown has continued globally, and in the UK with hot summer weather this week, it has appeared to prompt a mass migration to the beach. There were so many people in some locations a major incident was declared. All of this is of course against, if not strict government pandemic guidelines, certainly common sense.
It is, however, the summer, we have all been couped up for over 3 months and with 8 million people on furlough, not working but being paid there are a lot of people with spare time. Not surprisingly it is hard to control.
The concern though is whether we have become too relaxed too quickly. There was an interesting article on the impact of early relaxation in Bloomberg, which has had consequences on Coronavirus in the USA (cases from worldometer shown). In the UK is not mentioned, but clearly whilst the situation is currently better here, the dangers are still evident.
COVID19 infection rates are, of course, not an opinion but a matter of science and maths. Just being optimistic, hoping for the best, whilst it may make you feel better, will not really make much positive difference. In actuality it could make things worse if we all let our guard down.
However, accelerated relaxation continues and with pubs due to open on the 4th July all of this will be a test for the economy. Consumers will need to return to keep these businesses afloat and pay wages. If they do not and there is no furlough support they will be in trouble.
With the Furlough scheme to more formally end in October, all of this is starting to crystalize the expected economic impacts.
- Business rents are due
- We already have one in six home owners on a payment break
- Out of work households are already over £1,500 worse off
- Some sections of the population are borrowing more, struggling, often going to high cost credit.
It remains a tricky time, shares are rattled and we continue to see some fallout, even in fintech companies. Expect to see yet more economic impact in terms of unemployment and economic stress. It is already time for businesses to prepare, if not already.
Still life goes on, and a trip to the beach, sit in the sun or in the park may just be what we all need. Let’s just all be careful.
This is the week that was…. try to have a good weekend everyone…. @chris_w_tweet