Viewpoint – February 2021

One year ago coronavirus began to ravage the global economy and stock markets. The ensuing recession was the worst since the Great Depression, yet over those 12 months global equities have returned almost 30%, despite a 35% decline in the initial few weeks of the pandemic. Emergency policy support on an unprecedented scale underpinned markets, more recently turbo-charged by the extraordinary success of the vaccine development and roll-out programme. The narrative has moved to the scale of the economic recovery ahead and its implications for inflation: the reflation trade has been gathering pace and came to dominate markets in February.