Covid-19 Impact on Businesses
How Covid-19 has Impacted the World Business
Disruptions caused by the virus are starting to ripple through emerging markets. After showing little movement early in the year, the latest indices from purchasing manager surveys (PMIs) are pointing to sharp slowdowns in manufacturing output in many countries, reflecting drops in external demand and growing expectations of declining domestic demand. On a positive note, China is seeing a modest improvement in its PMI after sharp declines early in the year, despite weak external demand.
The modest improvement in economic activity in China is reflected in daily satellite data on nitrogen dioxide concentrations in the local atmosphere—a proxy for industrial and transport activity (but also the density of pollution as a by-product of fossil fuel consumption). After a steep decline from January to February during the acute phase of the pandemic, concentrations have increased as new infections have fallen, allowing China to gradually relax its strict containment measures. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit global trade and investment at an unprecedented speed and scale. Multinational companies faced an initial supply shock, then a demand shock as more and more countries ordered people to stay at home. Governments, businesses and individual consumers suddenly struggled to procure basic products and materials and were forced to confront the fragility of the modern supply chain. The urgent need to design smarter, stronger, and more diverse supply chains has been one of the main lessons of this crisis.