By Pierre Briançon
A string of business surveys showed on Friday that the European economy’s slump deepened in January, as tightened restrictions ordered to stem the tide of new coronavirus variants are taking their toll.
The outlook: With vaccination campaigns hindered by bottlenecks and shortages, the hope for a quick control of the new pandemic wave are slowly replaced by fears for a possible third wave. The end of restrictions seems further away than ever, worsening the economy’s slump.
That raises the question of whether or not European governments should and will implement new fiscal stimulus plans to counter the effects of the second wave. The EU and the U.K. for now live on plans devised last year to counter the effects of the first wave of the pandemic. They will prove insufficient to deal with the consequences of the current, unexpected spike.