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A Tortoise File

Corona shock

The coronavirus has triggered a public health crisis. But the effect on the economy is critically important, too. Our future health and happiness will be linked to our prosperity.

First published
Wednesday 28 October 2020

Last updated
Monday 8 February 2021

Why this story?

The coronavirus has triggered a public health crisis. But the effect on the economy is critically important, too. Our future health and happiness will be linked to our prosperity.

For a crisis which has moved so fast, the usual economic data is very slow. And rapid action is essential – but it is not clear, right now, whether it is being targeted effectively.

Chris Cook and Ella Hollowood have been poring over this unusual real-time dataset – a weekly set of actual spending figures from millions of people – to get their heads around the scale of the crisis, and how fast it is moving. Where has spending slowed the most, and what are the factors that make some areas hurt more? David Taylor, editor

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