24 February 2021
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Josh Hirt
Economist at Vanguard
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A Mid-2021 Pivot Point for the Global Economy
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“Vaccine developments have materially shifted both the health and the economic outlooks,” said Josh Hirt, a Vanguard economist and a co-author of the Vanguard Economic and Market Outlook for 2021: Approaching the Dawn. “We believe we’re looking at a midyear pivot point where, although we perhaps haven’t yet achieved population immunity, enough people will have been vaccinated to allow economies to settle into a post-COVID stage.” 

A challenging period no doubt lies ahead as the approach of winter in the Northern Hemisphere brings a new surge in virus cases. Economic recovery is likely to be uneven and extend beyond the next year. As we discuss in our economic and market outlook, we expect monetary and fiscal support to continue their crucial role in sustaining the recovery. 

The pandemic’s effects on consumer behavior are likely to linger even after vaccinations begin, especially in face-to-face sectors such as hospitality and entertainment, where reluctance to reengage may be overcome only gradually. We nonetheless foresee the potential scarring effect of permanent job losses as limited and foresee global economic growth returning in 2021 to a trajectory similar to that of the pre-COVID world. 

 

Vanguard assessment of global economic risks 

 

 

Note: The odds for each scenario are based on the assessment of members of Vanguard’s Global Economics and Capital Markets Outlook Team. 

Source: Vanguard, as of November 30, 2020. 

 

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