Home Business news A fortnight ago the UK economy was looking up; then Omicron arrived...

A fortnight ago the UK economy was looking up; then Omicron arrived | Larry Elliott

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Like the government with Covid, the Bank of England faces a wait-and-see versus no-risk dilemma on interest rates

So here we are again. Christmas is approaching and a new variant of Covid-19 has appeared. Infections are on the rise but the government is worried about overreacting. There are risks to public health from people socialising but risks to the economy if they don’t. Being an armchair critic is easy but getting the balance right is hard.

A couple of weeks ago it all looked different. Certainly, the number of UK cases remained stubbornly high but the UK was not suffering the surge in cases seen in Austria, Germany or the Netherlands. The arrival of vaccines – the big change in the past 12 months – meant hospitalisations and death rates were much lower than they were when the country was locked down last winter.

Continue reading…Like the government with Covid, the Bank of England faces a wait-and-see versus no-risk dilemma on interest ratesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSo here we are again. Christmas is approaching and a new variant of Covid-19 has appeared. Infections are on the rise but the government is worried about overreacting. There are risks to public health from people socialising but risks to the economy if they don’t. Being an armchair critic is easy but getting the balance right is hard.A couple of weeks ago it all looked different. Certainly, the number of UK cases remained stubbornly high but the UK was not suffering the surge in cases seen in Austria, Germany or the Netherlands. The arrival of vaccines – the big change in the past 12 months – meant hospitalisations and death rates were much lower than they were when the country was locked down last winter. Continue reading…