Following my previous consideration of whether the UK economy was back on track after Covid, which I caveated with concern that the pandemic wasn't quite over, it appears that the Omicron variant is starting to make its impact felt.
Early indications suggest that the eurozone's recovery is starting to falter; and inevitably any slow down in our biggest customer market will be felt over here - "France sneezes, and the United Kingdom catches a cold".
At present, it appears that the slow-down is largely due to the impact on consumer confidence. Sure, some countries have gone into lockdown, which will naturally hit hospitality industries and similar - but its notable that the effects can be seen in all countries, including Spain which hasn't been significantly effected by the latest wave. It suggests that the slowdown is coming from consumer reluctance to go out to restaurants, shops and hotels - and that is a difficult problem to overcome.
More reassuringly, it appears that businesses do now have their Covid mitigation measures down to a fine art - there hasn't yet been much of an impact seen to manufacturing and similar industries - although this may change if we reach a stage where large proportions of the workforce are needing to self isolate.
Which way will it go? Hard to say at the moment, but it does appear that its going to be driven by the confidence of consumers and businesses - and that is in the hands of government and the media.
Rising Covid infections, a new coronavirus variant and the reimposition of pandemic restrictions are threatening the eurozone’s economic rebound, with fewer people going out to shop, eat at restaurants and visit cinemas, high frequency data show.