Government policies must manage the K-shaped trajectory of post Covid-19-recovery

One should hesitate to call this a recovery because what it means is that while some parts of the economy have bounced back swiftly, others are floundering or have fallen.

The worst hit include construction and travel-related industries.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, sending economies into a tailspin, economists have been dipping into their alphabet soup trying to figure out the shape of the recovery to come.

Would it be a "V", they asked - a sharp upturn from a trough? Or a "U" - a rebound from a rounded bottom? Or would it take the shape of the swoosh of the Nike logo, like a tick mark and an extended recovery? Or a square root shape - a V-shaped recovery that then plateaus out? Or would there be a double-dip recession, meaning a "W"? Or, worse, would the economy never fully recover, yielding the dreaded "L" shape? Many of these shapes have characterised recoveries from recessions past.

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