The UK coped with Covid, it will cope with the latest economic wobbles


irst the bad news: there is supply chain chaos afflicting many UK businesses.

We can’t find enough lorry drivers to get palates of goods from here to there.

Companies, especially in leisure sectors, complain of crippling staff shortages.

The UK car industry has seen production levels fall to the lowest since 1956.

Government debt is eye-wateringly high and it only going to get bigger. Oh, and there’s probably a nasty dose of inflation around the corner, as if another dose of Covid weren’t bad enough.

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If you step back, you can see that maybe things aren’t so bad; or at least, not as bad as they might have been.

Eighteen months ago a great many people were in fear for their lives, fears that in a distressingly high number of cases were realised.

Economically, the narrative was to assume a depression, or at least a spectacular recession, was an inevitable consequence of a killer virus and a lockdown.

We would all be scarred, one way or another, for the rest of our lives.

None of those things now look likely; we’ll bounce back, economically anyway. (Personal griefs may take longer).

Compared to earlier assumptions, a strawberry shortage, a lack of milkshakes and a temporary bounce in inflation looks like a result.

Even the rise in government debt and spending has an upside – it has shown what we can do if we really need to.

The other stuff, supply chains and whatnot, are serious but temporary.

Perhaps our highly remunerated class of business leaders can demonstrate just why they are worth all that money with some brilliantly fresh thinking that mitigates whatever issues their own industry faces, rather than just complain.

On lorry driver shortages, a breakthrough idea here: pay them a lot more. There you go, fixed that one.

If we can defeat Covid, other things are surely within our collective capabilities.