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Covid-19 and Disruption in the Economy

In the third decades of the 21st century, the world is witnessing the biggest scathing attack of the virus in a decade on the survival of human beings. At the same time, it is also providing opportunities to illustrate the supremacy of technology and scientific advancement across the world. But till now humanity is lagging behinds, and untimed death of more than 2500 people across the world followed by global health emergency declaration by World Health Organization (WHO) are evident enough to believe that whatever we are seeing or knowing about the scientific advancement is not the ultimate. Yes, I am referring to the most threatening and an uncontrollable virus called Coronavirus (Covid-19) – emerged in the last month of the year 2019 at the Wuhan city in China.

Wuhan- is the residence of 11 million people and the leading player in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry in the world. It is considered as the political, economic, financial, commercial, cultural and educational centre of Central China. The global investment from 230 Fortune Global 500 companies is a clear demonstration of the global significance of trade and commerce of this city.

China is the epicentre of the Covid-19 and the powerhouse of the world’s manufacturing and one of the leading players in the supply chain for several industries is posing the biggest global economic crisis since the 2008 financial crisis.

It is also known as the world’s largest exporter and the second-largest importer of the goods along with 110 Global Fortune 500 companies. Such a mammoth dominance of China and the catastrophic impact of viruses posing several disruptions to the global economy.

Factory shutdowns in China hugely affected that global supply chain and companies like Apple, Nissan, Hyundai too have badly affected. Hyundai has temporarily closed its factories in South Korea due to a shortage of parts from China. Foxconn- the manufacturing partner of Apple in China is also facing the production delay.

UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) predicted that the revenue of global airline is expected to fall by $4-5 billion in the first quarter of 2020 because of flight cancellations.

Thus, Covid -19 is badly affecting manufacturing and travel across the world. As a result, February 2020, the oil market report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted the noticeable drop in the global oil demand, which has been noticed for the first time in the last decade. Global demand is also expected to drop by 365kb/d to 825 kb/d in 2020, the lowest since 2011.

China, being the world’s biggest oil importer, has witnessed a significant drop in the oil demand. The IEA has reported that China’s oil demand in 2019 was 13.7 mb/d, which is 14% of the global total. According to IEA, it is expected that the demand for oil is going to be contracted by 435kb/d in 1Q2020- the first quarterly decrease since the 2008 financial crisis.

Economists polled by Reuters between 7-13th Feb. 2020 have estimated that China’s economic growth is going to be 4.5% in the first quarter of 2020 (1Q2020), as compared to 6% in the previous quarter, which is the slowest since 2008 global financial crisis. The consequence of the 1Q2020 result is expected to create an adverse effect on the overall growth rate of the year 2020. Reuters has estimated the overall growth rate for the year 2020 is expected to fall to 5.5% from 6.1% in 2019 which is the weakest since 1990.

The performance of the stock market is used as one of the major indicators for accessing the overall health of the economy. The data of major stock markets of the world, reflecting the very depressing picture. It has been reported that around $5trillion has wiped out from the global market- more than twice the size of the fifth largest economy (India) in the world.covid-19-india-economy-marketexpress-in

Seeing all these disastrous disruptions in the global economy, the very pertinent question- are we heading towards another economic recession? The answer is not as easy as it appears. If the prevailing scientific advancements fail to control the existing situation as soon as possible, the possibilities of another economic recession cannot be denied. Seeing the fast-spreading virus beyond the political boundaries of China, the intensity of global threat has more intensified, if it is not going to be addressed promptly.