Much has been written about the unprecedented scale of measures undertaken by governments and central banks worldwide to counter the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which sent economies into the deepest recession since World War II.

The US alone has implemented several relief and stimulus packages worth trillions of dollars. An initial US$2.8 trillion was allocated within the first few months of the outbreak (including the US$2.3 trillion CARES Act), which was then supplemented by an additional US$900 million in December 2020. One of the first major bills signed by President Joe Biden since taking office was the US$1.9 trillion ($2.5 trillion) American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021. The Biden administration has further proposed a US$2.3 trillion infrastructure plan and US$1.8 trillion family care plan to be spent over the next eight to 10 years.

The European Union is also taking a leaf from the US. Its €807 billion ($1.3 trillion) (in current prices) NextGenerationEU recovery plan is in the process of being ratified by member nations. Its objective: to repair the social and economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and lay the foundation for a modern and more sustainable Europe. Together with the EU’s long-term budget (2021 to 2027), the total stimulus will be worth more than €2 trillion.

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