Abstract

Countries have made ample use of fiscal measures to protect lives and livelihoods against the health and economic fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to nurture the nascent reopening of economies in a highly uncertain environment. The drastic fiscal measures taken so far have been necessary, state-dependent, diverse, and costly. In general, these fiscal measures have mitigated the negative effects of the pandemic on health and economic outcomes. Although public debt levels are at record highs, further support is necessary to protect people who cannot make a living under the current circumstances and to promote a strong recovery. Fiscal policy should be tailored to different phases of the pandemic, adapting to evolving needs to protect people, support demand, facilitate the transformation to the post-pandemic economy, and ensure debt sustainability.