Welcome to the economic apocalypse. No longer will future downturns be described as the “worst since the Great Depression”. The coronavirus crisis looks primed to beat even that horror.

The Bank of England’s latest scenario envisages the UK economy shrinking by 14 per cent over the course of this year, which is stunning.

Reports on economic numbers almost always contain a “since” to give the reader a point of comparison against which to judge the dry data. The one the Bank’s projecting does have one. Drum roll please: it’s 1706.