Coronavirus: A visual guide to the economic impact

  • In Business
  • 2020-06-29 23:01:18Z
  • By BBC
Coronavirus: A visual guide to the economic impact
Coronavirus: A visual guide to the economic impact  

The coronavirus pandemic, which was first detected in China, has infected people in 188 countries.

Its spread has left businesses around the world counting costs and wondering what recovery could look like.

Here is a selection of charts and maps to help you understand the economic impact of the virus so far.

Global shares in flux

Big shifts in stock markets, where shares in companies are bought and sold, can affect the value of pensions or individual savings accounts (ISAs).

The FTSE, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nikkei all saw huge falls as the number of Covid-19 cases grew.

The Dow and the FTSE saw their biggest quarterly drops in the first three months of the year since 1987.

In response, central banks in many countries, including the UK, slashed interest rates. That should, in theory, make borrowing cheaper and encourage spending to boost the economy.

Global markets have since recovered some ground as governments have intervened. But some analysts have warned that they could be volatile until fears of a second wave of the pandemic are eased.

More people seeking work

Many people have lost their jobs or seen their incomes cut due to the coronavirus crisis.

Unemployment rates have increased across major economies as a result.

In the United States, the proportion of people out of work has hit 10.4%, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), signalling an end to a decade of expansion for one of the world's largest economies.

Millions of workers have also been put on government-supported job retention schemes as parts of the economy, such as tourism or hospitality, came to a standstill under lockdown.

However, the data differs between countries. France, Germany and Italy provide figures on applications, for example, whereas the UK counts workers currently enrolled in the scheme.

But there have since been some signs of recovery in the global jobs market.

China and France, for example, have seen increases in hiring rates as shutdowns eased, according to networking platform LinkedIn.

Some experts have warned, however, it could be years before levels of employment return to those seen before the pandemic.

Risk of recession

If the economy is growing, that generally means more wealth and more new jobs.

It's measured by looking at the percentage change in gross domestic product, or the value of goods and services produced, typically over three months or a year.

But the IMF says that the global economy will shrink by 3% this year. It described the decline as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Although it said that the coronavirus has plunged the world into a "crisis like no other", it does expect global growth to rise to 5.8% next year if the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020.

That's driven primarily by growth in countries such as India and China.

Recovery in big, services-reliant, economies that have been hit hard by the outbreak, such as the UK or Italy, is expected to be a slow process.

Travel among hardest hit

The travel industry has been badly damaged, with airlines cutting flights and customers cancelling business trips and holidays.

Many countries introduced travel restrictions to try to contain the virus.

Data from the flight tracking service Flight Radar 24 shows that the number of flights globally took a huge hit in 2020.

But as the spread of infections has eased in some areas, the industry has started to open back up.

Spain, for example, has reopened its borders to visitors from most of Europe without having to quarantine. For months it was under one of Europe's toughest lockdowns.

Travel companies also said that bookings from the UK had "exploded" after the government announced current restrictions will be eased.

Oil price recovery

Demand for oil all but dried up as lockdowns across the world kept people inside.

The crude oil price had already been affected by a row between Opec, the group of oil producers, and Russia. Coronavirus drove the price down further.

Brent crude is the benchmark used by Europe and the rest of the world. Its price dipped below $20, to the lowest level seen in 18 years.

Prices have recently regained ground as travel restrictions in some countries have been relaxed, boosting demand for fuel.

Consumer confidence

Retail footfall also saw unprecedented lows as shoppers stayed at home in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Pedestrian numbers have since risen as lockdown measures have been rolled back, according to research firm ShopperTrak,

Separate research suggests that consumers might still be feeling anxious about their return to stores.

More than half of UK customers expect they will now go shopping less often over the next one or two years, according to a survey of more than 1,000 people by accountancy giant EY.

Vaccine hopes

Governments around the world have pledged billions of dollars for a Covid-19 vaccine and treatment options.

A number of pharmaceutical firms are in a race to develop and test potential drugs that could help nations get back to "normal".

Shares in some companies have shot up on the hopes that some will be approved and distributed at scale.

AstraZeneca's share price, for example, has hit record highs. The Drug company says it will be able to produce two billion doses of a vaccine.

"Until such medical interventions become available, no country is safe," the IMF said of the pandemic that has disrupted the global economy.


More Related News

UK factories increasingly plan lay-offs, survey shows
UK factories increasingly plan lay-offs, survey shows

British factories are increasingly planning to lay off workers, a warning sign for the economy as it tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, an industry survey showed on Friday. "Conditions are still very tough for many companies with disruption likely to continue for some time," said Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK. The survey showed only a slight improvement in gauges of revenue and new orders.

Michel Barnier blames UK lack of respect as Brexit talks break up early
Michel Barnier blames UK lack of respect as Brexit talks break up early
  • World
  • 2020-07-02 13:51:07Z

Michel Barnier accused British trade negotiators of a lack of respect after Brexit talks ended a day early on Thursday amid "serious divergences" between the UK and the EU. Mr Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, blamed British intransigence and a refusal to engage in negotiations for the lack of progress in this week's round of talks, which had been meant to close on Friday. The EU and UK are divided over fishing rights, the future role of the European Court of Justice, Brussels' demands for "level playing field" guarantees and the governance of the future relationship treaty. "Our goal was to get negotiations successfully and quickly on a trajectory to reach an...

Why did the UK return Hong Kong to China?
Why did the UK return Hong Kong to China?

A simple guide to the history behind the diplomatic spat between the UK and China.

UK businesses warn Britain could be heading for Brexit
UK businesses warn Britain could be heading for Brexit 'disaster' as fears grow of border check chaos from day one
  • World
  • 2020-07-02 10:06:35Z

UK business groups fear that Britain is heading for Brexit disaster with doubts growing that new border checks will be ready in time.

Coronavirius: Dozens of countries not in UK quarantine
Coronavirius: Dozens of countries not in UK quarantine

UK government sources indicate that UK tourists will not have to isolate on return from up to 75 countries.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Business