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Coronavirus and the economy

Our goal at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is to promote effective economic and social policies by better understanding how policies affect individuals, families, businesses and the government's finances.
Online shopping
The measures taken to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, resulting from both policy and consumers’ changes in behaviour, have had major impacts on consumer spending patterns. In this briefing note, we explore how consumer spending has evolved, both during lockdown and in the recovery phase since.
Preston City Council
Last week saw significant political debate about the amount of extra funding being given to English councils moving into tier 3 (‘very high alert’) of the government’s COVID alert system.
Children eating at school
In this observation, we discuss the costs of the proposal to extend free school meal vouchers through the school holidays until Easter next year as well as some of the potential benefits it could have.
Economists are central to policymaking in the UK, and to providing the research that underpins that policymaking. Despite having this important role in society, economists are not very representative of society, with a well-documented under-representation of women in the profession.

The IFS Deaton Review of Inequality

The IFS podcast


Upcoming event
Date 03 November 2020 | 10:00 - 11:00
Location Online only
Availablity Places available
Further and higher education providers face severe resource challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this event, IFS researchers and panellists Philip Augar and Mary Curnock Cook will analyse these challenges. This event coincides with the launch of our 2020 annual report on education spending in England, supported by the Nuffield Foundation.
Upcoming event
Date 09 November 2020 | 11:00 - 12:00
Location Online only
Availablity Places available
As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, senior researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research will join together to look at how Covid-19 has impacted the public finances, including what we can learn from comparisons with the fallout from the financial crisis and how uncertainty around the economy has affected public spending in the past.
Upcoming event
Date 09 November 2020 | 16:00 - 17:15
Location Online only
Availablity Places available
The COVID-19 crisis has been a perfect financial storm for councils, pushing up spending and hitting local income streams. This event will explain how the COVID-19 crisis has been affecting local finances and economies, how councils have been responding, and key issues for the next few years as we seek to recover.

Older articles

'The present crisis might yet turn out to be that kind of more permanent shock as, in all probability, will Brexit. As we saw after the 1980s, permanent shocks can leave lasting scars.'
Three things stand out from today’s announcement. First, the Chancellor has made the Job Support Scheme much more generous. In many respects it has much in common with the current version of furlough scheme which comes to an end this month.
We use comprehensive real-time data on grocery purchases and prices in Great Britain to show how inflation and promotional activity has evolved up until the beginning of August 2020.
Today’s figures from the ONS show that inflation in the year to September was just 0.5%. September is usually particularly important as the increase in prices over the year to that point is conventionally used in calculating how benefits and state pensions are to be uprated in the following April.
This week we speak with David Miles, Professor at Imperial College London and a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England, to answer questions about government debt in the COVID era.
Recent years have seen increasing concerns in many developed countries over ‘the changing nature of work’. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Taylor Review notes that only 60% of workers are permanent employees.