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News Release - New modelling tool developed at Queen's University shows a loss exceeding $40 billion across Ontario during the pandemic

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

(June 9, 2020) In the face of the pandemic, Queen’s University economists are helping policymakers build a roadmap for economic recovery efforts. The focus is on providing local and provincial leaders with the best available high-frequency economic projections to use alongside health projections when making decisions.  

Through Limestone Analytics, a Kingston-based research and analytics firm, the group of Queen’s researchers has developed a COVID-19 policy analysis tool. Already adapted for Ontario, the preliminary estimates imply that COVID-19 led to a loss in Ontario’s GDP of 9.4% in March, 23.7% in April, and 26% in May compared to what would have been expected. This implies a loss of over $40 billion across the province or $7,500 per household. 

The team refers to their framework as the STUDIO model, a flexible framework that can be adapted for a wide variety of scenarios. The acronym stands for “Short-Term Under-capacity Dynamic Input-Output” model, reflecting its intended use for month-to-month scenario building during economic disasters. 

Quotes 
“These are huge numbers, and that is just where we are after May,” said Huw Lloyd-Ellis (Economics). “Losses will accumulate going forward. How big they end up being depends on how quickly the province can relax restrictions on various industries, and how the behavior of firms and consumers change going forward.” 

Huw Lloyd-Ellis, Economics 

“We don’t pretend that we can predict the future in terms of how the disease will spread, or how government policy, and consumer and firm behavior will change in the coming monthsThe strength of STUDIO is in its flexibility, and its ability to provide economic projections for any number of alternative scenarios that we may throw at it.” 

Christopher Cotton Economics, the Jarislowsky-Deutsch Chair in Economic & Financial Policy at Queen’s 

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Media contact 
Anne CraigMedia Relations Officer 
613-533-2877 
anne.craig@queensu.ca 

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