Mario Vella: Beyond the pandemic

Address by Dr Mario Vella, Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, at the IFS webinar Continuity post pandemic: an economic perspective, 10 December 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
11 December 2020

Undoubtedly, 2020 will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has tragically led to loss of lives and economic hardship for very large numbers world-wide. The outbreak of COVID19 and the measures to contain the spread of the virus brought about a global economic shock without precedent after the Second World War. The world economy entered a recession, which has been far deeper than that experienced during the Great Financial Crisis of 2008–2009.

Containment measures were highly effective in controlling the first virus outbreaks, though this came at a very significant economic cost. With the initial lifting of measures, economic activity began to recover and sentiment did improve. However, active cases rose sharply again and the health situation deteriorated by the end of the summer, forcing many countries in Europe to re-introduce containment measures by October. Although the level of stringency of the latest containment measures were less than those implemented during the first wave, activity is still more restricted compared with the third quarter, undermining global recovery prospects.