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Covid Will Leave Deep Scars in World Economy

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Just as some patients recovering from Covid19 suffer longlasting symptoms, its becoming clear that the same will be true for the global economy once this years Vshaped rebound fades. While 26 trillion worth of crisis support and the arrival of vaccines have fueled a faster recovery than many anticipated, the legacies of stunted education, the destruction of jobs, warera levels of debt and widening inequalities between races, genders, generations and geographies will leave lasting scars, most of them in the poorest nations.

Its very easy after a gruelling year or more to feel really relieved that things are back on track, said Vellore Arthi of the University of California, Irvine, who has examined the longterm health and economic hit from past crises. But a lot of the effects that we see historically are often for decades and are not easily addressed.

All told, the decline in gross domestic product last year was the biggest since the Great Depression. The International Labour Organization estimates it cost the equivalent of 255 million people fulltime jobs. Researchers at the Pew Research Centre reckon the global middle class shrank for the first time since the 1990s.

The costs will fall unevenly. A scorecard of 31 metrics across 162 nations devised by Oxford Economics Ltd. highlighted the Philippines, Peru, Colombia and Spain as the economies most vulnerable to longterm scarring. Australia, Japan, Norway, Germany and Switzerland were seen as best placed.

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