In this month’s Business Corner column, Dan Watson of Blairgowrie Associates gives an update on the impact of the virus on business in China and the Asia Pacific region.
According to Watson, China’s GDP shrunk 6.8 percent in the last quarter as compared with a year earlier. The country’s chemical manufacturing output declined by 21 percent. Profits declined by 66 percent in the first two months of 2020 due to the coronavirus. With the Chinese government reporting that the virus is now under more control in the country there is hope that these figures will improve during the second half of 2020.
In Latin America Report Charles Thurston reports the projection for economic performance in Latin America is a contraction of -5.2 percent for 2020, compared with positive growth of 0.1 percent in 2019, according to an April analysis by the International Monetary Fund. Brazil is forecast to post a loss of -5.3 percent this year, while Mexico is forecast to post a regional-leading -6.6 percent loss this year, the IMF indicates.
Lastly, in our Europe Report Sean Milmo explores the prospect of economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19. He notes that the larger multinational companies are better placed than small and medium sized businesses to emerge from COVID to take advantage of opportunities to bolster their market positions during the recovery.
Here in the U.S. the impact varies by region, with some states not issuing any restrictions, others opening back up and some states still closed down. It seems apparent that the COVID-19 threat will not be going away anytime soon so we must all prepare ourselves for the ‘new normal’ we will be living in.