Macro effects of COVID to last until 2022, with personal concerns up by 10%

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Personal COVID concern has increased by 10% since last week. While government measures to contain the coronavirus seem to be working, respondents in our weekly survey are reporting illness and deaths amongst their loved ones. Our thoughts are with those affected. 

The professional concern index has dropped by 8% compared to last week, perhaps reflecting growing acceptance of the ‘new normal’. Concerns about the economy continue to span a range of topics: 

  • Business bankruptcies 
  • A deep drop in GDP and economic growth 
  • Rising inequality 
  • Higher debt to GDP 
  • Higher taxes 
  • The recovery of the NHS 

The duration of lockdown is critical 


While UK trustees and their providers believe that we need to stay in lockdown, they are concerned about a further extension without an exit in sight. For now, they expect that the outbreak will last another three and a half months. 

If relaxing lockdown depends on finding a vaccine for COVID-19, we may be 12-18 months away from restrictions being lifted. But even six months is too long for the UK pensions industry, as concerns about job and income security and the survival of scheme sponsors persist. 

Economic consequences will persist for at least 21 months 


Last week, having been repeatedly requested to do so by our research panel, mallowstreet made a change to its methodology to allow respondents to share longer-term concerns about the macro consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The resulting figures reveal the full extent of concern, with macro effects expected to be felt for at least 21 months – i.e. until the beginning of 2022.
 
Consumer habits are expected to change profoundly: more frugal spending, working from home more and travelling less. 

There are hopes that the current environment will prompt government to plan for pandemics in the future, as current events have shifted this scenario closer on the probability axis. 

How much longer do you think the outbreak would last? Are you more or less worried about your personal safety? Click here to take next week’s survey. 


About the COVID Concern Index 


This short weekly survey helps gauge sentiment of our community on the pandemic. The results are distributed each week via the community newsletter. 

The COVID Concern Index values should be used as indication only and do not constitute advice. Their values are bound by the choices available in the survey on which they are based. 

COVID Concern Index:                                 

  • 0 = respondents are not worried at all                    
  • 100 = respondents are extremely worried                            

Expected minimum duration of outbreak:                                         

  • Lowest possible value = 1 month                              
  • Highest possible value = 6 months                           

Expected minimum duration of macro effects:

A methodology change took place on 15/04/2020, affecting data from 21/04/2020 onwards. 

Prior to 15/04/2020:      

  • Lowest possible value = 3 months                            
  • Highest possible value = 12 months                         

Following 15/04/2020:  

  • Lowest possible value = 3 months                            
  • Highest possible value = 60 months                         

Concerned about the coronavirus outbreak and its macro implications? Click here to take part in the weekly COVID-19 survey.