IHS expert: Nationwide lockdown costs 1 billion euros per week – forecasts are shaky
A nationwide corona lockdown would bring the domestic economy a billion euros a week in losses, says IHS expert Klaus Weyerstrass.
Experts from the Institute for Higher Studies (IHS) have commented on current questions about the lockdown. IHS economist Klaus Weyerstrass expects the forecasts for economic growth for this year and next year will probably not hold up. The expected consequences for the education sector are also expensive, explained IHS expert Mario Steiner. IHS expert Katharina Gangl sees a risk of radicalization among those who oppose vaccination in view of the compulsory vaccination.
The next IHS economic forecast will be published in four weeks. It is “highly likely that we will not achieve 4.5 percent growth this year,” said Weyerstrass. The economic impact is likely to be even greater in the next year. The labor market has just recovered, unemployment was below the values of 2019. Given that restaurants, hotels and shops are closed, it is of course to be feared that short-time work and unemployment will rise sharply again. The economist expects effects to be roughly the same as in the second lockdown, about half that of the first lockdown. In the worst case, a wave of bankruptcies can be expected in the next year.
Health economist Thomas Czypionka finds “three weeks of lockdown better than nothing”. But you don’t know how people will react, i.e. whether they will keep the lockdown. The situation in the hospitals is worrying, the postponement of cancer operations is a disaster. Every free intensive care bed enables not just one, but numerous operations that cannot now be carried out. Out of solidarity, the decision was made for a total lockdown.
It is unclear whether the lockdown will be long enough to relax the situation in the hospitals, since the serious illnesses of the newly infected will only appear in a few weeks. It would be worst if after three weeks of lockdown everyone storms the shops and meets for Christmas, and then the flu season sets in in January and the corona numbers rise again. Then the hospitals could soon be very full again, he points out. “After this general lockdown there has to be diversification at the state level, everything else would not be negotiable,” he says.
The now decided corona vaccination obligation is an opportunity for behavioral economist Katharina Gangl – “if you do it wisely”. The majority of the population is in favor of compulsory vaccination. For the unvaccinated, compulsory vaccination is a chance to save face and keep their opinion, but still have to comply with the compulsory vaccination and thus get a vaccination.
However, there is also the risk that a small group will become radicalized: “If people do not believe the scientific studies on vaccination, but are willing to take medication for horses, you can see the irrationality”. When asked about the earlier mandatory vaccination against smallpox in Austria, she said that since then a lot has changed in society in terms of more individuality and skepticism towards authorities, and vaccination requirements have become out of fashion. In recent years, however, there has been a trend towards vaccination again in Europe.
IHS expert Mario Steiner refers to the consequences in the education sector. If there are more early dropouts, this has a massive impact on the employment career, because the lower the level of education, the higher the unemployment rate and the lower the earnings. This not only has individual consequences, but the economic effects are also extremely high. If learning performance is privatized, as happens with Distance Learning, then disadvantaged children would be most negatively affected, it said.
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