Kent Economists lend their expertise to parliament during the Covid crisis

Prof Miltos Makris

Over the past few weeks, as the UK Parliament engages with the COVID-19 outbreak, they have experienced a surge in need for access to research expertise.

In this rapidly evolving situation, Parliament needs quick access to researchers who can provide expert insights relating to both Coronavirus and the wider situation. School of Economics academics have offered their expertise to the COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database.

‘Given the extensive trade between the US, Europe and China with each other, and importantly with the rest of the world, this turmoil will have severe knock-on effects to parts of the world where lockdowns have not yet been put in place, such as South American countries’, writes Professor Miltos Makris, one of the academics joining the database. ‘As a result, the world economy is likely to enter a deep recession this year.’

Parliament invited those with expertise relating to the pandemic or its impacts to sign up to the COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database.

‘Indicatively, the 2003 SARS epidemic has cost the global economy about 0.1% of world’s GDP’ Makris continues ‘when China’s GDP was around 4% of the world’s GDP whereas now it is around 16% and its growth is the lowest it has been since 1990. This means that, owing to its greater international economic prevalence, China undergoing a severe downturn bodes worse for the global economy.’

Speaking closer to home Makris’ predictions for the UK are severe.

‘The UK’s prospects are not optimistic, especially given its trajectory to exit the EU. A big part of the UK’s economic plan to recover quickly from negative repercussions of Brexit was relying on sustaining UK-EU trade and expanding trade to the rest of the world. However, the expected slump in trade as well in domestic economies due to implications of covid-19, make this plan fragile and a prolonged and deep recession likely.

Read more from Makris’ recent blog ‘Coronomics’: how a pandemic can impact world economics.