Covid-19 and the economy – Dec 2020 to Jan 2021
The effects of Covid-19 on the UK’s economy continue to be felt, with data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in December showing that inflation fell in November. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 0.3% in November 2020, down from 0.7% in October. Notably, food and non-alcoholic beverages resulted in the largest downward contribution to the CPI. Covid-19 was also reported to have highlighted pre-existing disparities between health care provision in rural and urban areas. A report by the Nuffield Trust found that while the number of Covid cases in rural areas was lower than in big urban centres, the pandemic’s impact on services has been much greater in rural areas with implications for NHS recovery post pandemic. One such example is cancer care; although the number of patients seen by a consultant for a first appointment fell significantly after March across the NHS, in rural areas the fall was 66% compared with 58% in urban areas.
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