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The Global Double Dip Coronavirus Recession Deepens

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After new rounds of government-mandated lockdowns sent large portions of the global economy into a double dip recession in December 2020, the global economy continued cooling in January 2021 as the recessionary impact of the lockdowns deepened.

We can see that happening in the falling rate of change of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at the remote Mauna Loa Observatory. The following chart shows that latest trend in the context of the history of the metric since January 1960.

Trailing Twelve Month Average of the Year-Over-Year Change in Parts Per Million of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, January 1960-January 2021

In addition to the earlier European government-imposed lockdowns, the data for Janaury 2021 is now including some of the impact of regional lockdowns in both China and Japan, and also states like California in the U.S.

Increasingly unpopular in addition to being economically disruptive, many government officials in these regions have begun easing their lockdown measures. Combined with declining numbers of cases in much of the world, we anticipate the relative impact of the double dip coronavirus recession will be much smaller than the first wave.

We estimate that first wave cost the global economy some $12 trillion in lost GDP in 2020. We’ll take a closer look at how much more global GDP has been lost to government-imposed coronavirus lockdowns in our next update to this series to find out how much the second lockdown recessions are harming Earth’s economy.

Previously on Political Calculations

Here is our series quantifying the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Earth’s economy, presented in reverse chronological order.


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