Beating Covid-19? The new chancellor shouldn’t budget on it

Rishi Sunak’s job of drawing up his first budget in Brexit Britain was already complicated enough before coronavirus arrived

Economic forecasting, at the best of times, is an uncertain task. For the purposes of forecasting the outlook for the British economy, this is not the best of times.

Brexit uncertainty continues in that the negotiations on our future relationship with the EU are only just beginning. It is not obvious that any deal will be reached but, even if it is, the deal will be pretty thin. The economic consequences of such an outcome are disputed, in the sense that the vast majority of economists view this as a bad outcome for the economy and the government apparently doesn’t.

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