OECD calls for change of tack on state support during pandemic

The OECD has urged governments to adopt more targeted measures to support their economies now the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic has passed.

With many nations struggling with a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, the Paris-based club of advanced economies said leaders should shift the focus of their programmes towards limiting the lasting scars from the crisis by helping people find new jobs.

In its interim economic outlook, the organisation praised countries’ initial blanket response of state support and raised its economic forecasts for 2020 as economies rebounded faster than expected once lockdowns were lifted.

But with the world likely to have to live with coronavirus for many more months, Laurence Boone, OECD chief economist, said it was time to switch strategy.

“The most difficult thing [for governments] now is deciding what to support and helping people in sectors most affected [by the virus] to change jobs,” she told the FT.

The aim was not to cut costs but to target help more carefully in a world where both advanced countries and emerging markets would have to live with coronavirus for most of 2021 until mass vaccination became available, she said.

In its report, the OECD said resources should be directed at companies “that are temporarily unviable, rather…

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