Germany managed the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic relatively well thanks to an early and vigorous public health response. Nonetheless, unprecedented disruptions to economic and social activity caused a deep recession in the first half of 2020. The gradual easing of containment measures since late-April has led to a partial revival of growth, but in late-October a “lockdown light” was announced to counter a new wave of infections, and restrictions were further tightened in mid-December. Significant risks remain about the pace and extent of the recovery as the uncertain course of the epidemic continues to impact economic activity.
The COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate Spain’s already large inclusion gap. Responding in the recovery with policies that support social objectives should be a key priority and calls for several structural changes. This paper summarizes some of the main drivers behind the social dispersion, which pre-dates the COVID-19 crisis, and policy options. The focus is on how to address the fragmented labor market, tackle pressures on rental-housing affordability, and lower the gender pay gap.1, 2