The novel coronavirus has been greatly affecting industries and economies on a worldwide scale. While the world continues to experience an increase of confirmed positive cases, the world’s economies are starting to feel the negative impacts of the epidemic.
Since the financial crisis and recession earlier in the 21st century, economists are saying that the COVID-19 virus is perhaps the greatest threat to the global economy according to OECD.
Inevitable Slump Foreseen
Ever since the news that the virus is spreading globally, industries and businesses have been greatly affected. Presently, the number of confirmed cases has reached more than 116,000 globally, with no signs of slowing down.
Businesses have started to lose revenue because of the epidemic. Several companies have already shut down factories, especially in China, where they lost a lot of manpower where employees either suffered or succumbed to the disease.
Since China is the world’s leading trading nation and second-largest economy, economists predict that the country’s economic growth will decline to 4.5% in the first quarter of the year.
Lockdowns and Ghost Towns
With positive cases continually rising all over the world, some cities have already declared lockdowns to help contain the disease and prevent the spread of the virus to neighboring towns and localities.
Italian prime minister, Guiseppe Conte, has already put the entire nation of Italy on lockdown where at least 9,100 people are infected and 463 have died. Italy is currently the largest country besides China to have the most number of fatalities caused by the disease.
Towns and cities all over the world are starting to look like ghost towns. The number of people on the streets is significantly fewer as most have decided to stay home. Companies have implemented remote work programs for their employees to maintain productivity while the threat remains.
Economic and Industrial Impacts
Regardless of industry, whether the company manufactures centrifugal pumps or they are ranches that produce dairy products, the impact of the novel coronavirus is undeniable.
Due to the number of people suffering from the disease, plants and factories are now understaffed which negatively affected their output. Some industrial plants have been temporarily shut down as businessmen are still figuring out how to keep operations going despite the present circumstances.
Trade and Commerce Disrupted
The shortage of products is starting to disrupt trade and commerce. Because there are fewer people on the streets and air travel has significantly been reduced, the worldwide demand for oil has also decreased by a huge margin. Along with this, the different stock markets all over the world have also taken quite a beating.
It also doesn’t help that misinformation and lack of information are causing people to go into mass hysteria and start panic buying and hoarding. If hoarding due to lockdowns keeps up, the world’s economies will experience instability.
Despite the gravity of the situation, the human race has proven time and time again to overcome the worst that life has thrown its way. Be sure to take the necessary precautions and safety measures and build up your immune system. Like any crisis we have encountered, this too shall pass.