It has been a unique 2020, and 2021 is shaping up to be just as unpredictable. In my long career advising companies through good times and bad, recessions have followed a recognisable pattern.
This time is different because the economic damage wrought by Coronavirus (COVID-19) depends on how the virus spreads and how long we must wait for a vaccine to be developed. That is proving impossible to call.
Another variable is the widespread government support that is available to companies and workers. I think ministers should be applauded for what they have put in place because it has helped many good, viable businesses to survive.
However, increasingly they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. How much bailout is too much and how can you fairly treat one distressed sector against another, or one region versus another?
I think that the system of loans, furloughing and tax holidays will stretch well into 2021 but at some stage, the government needs to take hard decisions which will recognise some businesses are beyond saving. The unemployment rate is very likely to increase in the future, as will the rate of company failures.
Watch my interview with James Ashton to find out more about my views on the economic landscape today.
Author: Carl Jackson