337. The birth rate recession

Huge amounts of airtime and ink have been spent chronicling the economic recession resulting from the pandemic. Apparently, the biggest economic contraction in 300 years. However, another, simultaneous, worrying and much more unexpected recession seems to be going on as a consequence of the pandemic. Whilst the economic slowdown, given the restrictions on activity imposed by the virus, is fully understandable, this second one is counterintuitive. I am talking about the birth rate recession. Spain just reported a 25% drop in births in January and February, 9 months after the first lockdown, apparently replicated in other countries. It seems that, contrary to what you might have expected, at a time when one of the very few activities available to the population was making babies, most decided to go for box sets instead. Spain already has a natality problem, so this is quite concerning. It seems that it may become a case of ‘Your country needs you…to spend some money and make some babies’

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