The reasons for the rapid recovery revolve around three factors, said Dupont. These factors are the resilience of employers and workers and the ability to reorganize work; rapid delivery and generally good uptake of vaccines for advanced economies in particular, with eight billion doses already administered worldwide; and the response of governments to support workers and businesses.
However, Dupont said there are still clouds to come for several reasons. “The first is the pandemic itself – it’s not over anywhere until it is over everywhere,” he said, adding that at this point even with the vaccination and drugs, the ability to treat COVID-19 “like a common illness isn’t quite at hand – it’s a stubborn and unpredictable virus.
Dupont said the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is the latest reminder that successful vaccination campaigns in advanced economies are not enough to put the pandemic behind us. He noted that there is fatigue in continually adapting public health measures, the activity of daily living and the workplace to counter COVID and its variants. “Yet businesses have no choice but to prepare for different scenarios in the conduct and planning of their businesses.”
The second reason concerns the disruption of the supply chain. “Before the pandemic, global supply chains and logistics operated like a well-oiled machine,” Dupont said. However, a rapid recovery and strong changes in demand for services, consumer durables and housing have strained the supply chain and increased inflationary pressures.
The Bennett Jones report predicts that the economy will continue to recover. In the United States, quarter over quarter, GDP is expected to grow 3.4% in 2022 and 2% in 2023. By the end of 2023, output would be 8.5% higher than in end of 2019. That’s slightly above the pre-COVID trend.