Lifting lockdowns related to COVID-19 too soon to save the economy could backfire. If the virus spreads too quickly, people will take this into account in their behavior, which will actually harm the economy, the International Monetary Fund said in an analysis on Thursday.
The IMF writes in the World Economic Outlook about a false contradiction between economic interests and the desire to save lives. Lockdowns cause economic damage in the short term, but in the medium term they cause the virus to disappear more quickly.
According to the report, the effect of voluntary distancing (voluntary social distancing) underestimated. According to the IMF, data from Google and job boards show that mobility and employment continue to be damaged, even after the lockdown has been lifted.
The IMF notes, however, that lockdowns have disproportionately large negative effects on vulnerable groups such as women and young people. But if immediate action is taken as soon as the virus spreads, the measures will not last long and the damage will be limited, the report says.