Corona crisis: Economists warn of economic consequences of a second wave

Many companies could not cope with a second wave or even a new lockdown, warn economic experts. They appeal to politicians and the population.

Leading economists are concerned about the significant increase in the number of daily corona infections. “A second wave could be economically more damaging than the first wave. After all, many companies are ailing, have high debts and hardly any reserves left,” said Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), to the Düsseldorf Rheinische Post.

The experience of the USA shows that clear rules and early restrictions are important to keep the wave of infection as low as possible and to limit the economic damage, said Fratzscher. “Only if the overwhelming majority of the population behaves responsibly can the restrictions be limited in time and the damage minimized,” said Fratzscher.

The director of the Institute of the German Economy (IW), Michael Hüther, who is close to the employers, spoke out in favour of not imposing a second nationwide lockdown hastily in view of the occurrence of infections. “A nationwide lockdown requires an epidemic situation of national importance,” Hüther told the Rheinsche Post. However, such a national danger situation did not exist at the moment. “I do not consider a second nationwide lockdown to be either necessary or responsible in view of the social and economic collateral effects,” Hüther said. Regional answers must be sought, he said.

The President of the German Mittelstand, Mario Ohoven, also appealed to politicians to prevent a second lockdown in the event of rising infection rates. “It would be irresponsible to drive the German economy into ruin by a further lockdown,” the president of the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW) told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group. “Even if local outbreaks lead to partially increased infection rates, this must not result in a second shutdown.” The economic effects of such a measure could not be foreseen, “especially since the federal government has shot its bolt with the Corona aid package of 1.2 trillion euros,” Ohoven said.

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