Gianni Esposito serves pizza at his restaurant Gianni’s Pizza in Wilmington, Delaware last week. US inflation  increased last month by the biggest year-on-year gain in more than three decades. Photograph:  Chris Stein/AFP

It starts with the occasional rock as the policymakers row over the sea of denial. Then many more rocks appear. Finally, they see that they are sailin(...)

French president Emmanuel Macron met France’s social partners at the Élysée Palace on Tuesday to discuss a possible relaunch of the aborted reform. Photograph:  Yoan Valat/POOL/AFP

The streamlining of France’s devilishly complex and costly pension system was to have been the mother of all reforms, the prestige project of Emmanuel(...)

‘Are We There Yet?’ street art in the Grand Canal Basin area of Dublin: a phased reopening of the economy is expected to begin in May, but no dates have been set. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

The Government has updated its figures on vaccine supply, promising a ramping up this month and next. But the reopening plan for the economy and busin(...)

Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan is a vital support, or risks setting off inflation and eventually higher interest rates. Photograph: Getty

In the midst of a pandemic it may seem a ridiculous question. But financial markets are starting to ask whether, as we emerge from the pandemic, infla(...)

The vital factor which has allowed countries to spend, without worrying about immediate problems on the markets, is rock bottom interest rates combined with massive Central Bank support. Photograph: iStock

Interest rates at, or below, zero and massive monetary expansion by central banks is helping the Republic and other countries to meet the cost of the (...)

 Non-essential items are sealed off in a Tesco store in Cardiff, Wales, as the country entered a national ‘firebreak lockdown’ on October 23rd to curb the surge of Covid-19 cases. Photograph: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

It’s going to be a nervy winter. Restrictions are tightening all across Europe as talk of living with the virus is replaced by emergency action. Meanw(...)

There are a group of firms which will only be viable in a return to something like the “old” normal – many pubs, for example. We don’t know whether the “new” normal is  temporary or  semi-permanent. Photograph: David Sleator

There will be a lot of challenging roles in the next cabinet. Perhaps the toughest will be minister for jobs, or whatever grand title is given to that(...)

Popular resistance to a repetition of the public spending cuts that came after the financial crisis will be intense. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The pandemic has been likened to a war, though one against a disease, not other humans. Like a war, it is reshaping economies and demanding huge incre(...)

 Italian deputy premier and interior minister Matteo Salvini  at a campaign rally in Putignano, near Bari, southern Italy. Salvini is attempting to expand Italy’s budget. Photograph: Annamaria Loconsole/EPA

Matteo Salvini has reignited Rome’s battle with Brussels over his public spending plans, and while financial markets are unimpressed, many internation(...)

France’s president Emmanuel Macron. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The recent Great Recession had very serious implications for the public finances of the euro area. The combined government deficits of the euro area s(...)

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