HAMISH MCRAE: The turning point in the economic cycle has been passed, from now on the direction is up

Or a U, with a long period bouncing along the bottom before recovery becomes secure? My instinct now is that it will look more like a tick, with the very sharp fall that we have had followed by a sustained but somewhat slower pull back upwards. Load Error Wedding two is that the Bank of England seems more positive about the economy. Though the Monetary Policy Committee voted last week to pump another £100billion into the economy, the planned pace of this programme was slower than in the past.  In addition, the Bank’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, voted against this – he clearly thinks the economy will grow faster than generally expected. You could justifiably say that the surge in Government borrowing last month was a disastrous state of public finances. But equally you could note how this means that the Government is prepared to throw everything needed to get the economy moving again. Borrowing costs are historically low and as growth resumes the numbers will begin to look more manageable. The world is coming up too, with the US in particular staging a decent bounce, and the German economy now growing well again. The world is throwing everything it has at developing one, and AstraZeneca is mass-manufacturing the vaccine pioneered by Oxford University. Chief executive Pascal Soriot said last week that they thought it would protect people for about a year. The hardest thing to do is to look through both the gloom and the euphoria – and think long-term about what really makes countries prosperous in a highly competitive world. Thinking long-term is not a bad thing to do regarding that other economic issue that is back in the headlines: our trading relationship with the EU. China became the world’s second largest economy (second to the US and larger than the EU now the UK has left) without any significant deals. And third, the long game for the UK will be to maintain its exports to Europe as far as possible, but to focus on markets that are growing faster.