Experts say that while the health impacts of the COVID-19 is certainly worrying, the economic impact must be considered with appropriate measures put in place.
“Global investors are being overly complacent about downside economic risks, aggravated but not limited to the growing impact of coronavirus,” says Frederick Kempe, a prize-winning editor and reporter at the Wall Street Journal, writing for the CNBC.
He says the economic impact of the coronavirus comes at a time when the world’s ten major economies are slowing – and several confront recession – making a bad situation worse.
“It seems increasingly likely that February will prove to be an economic write-off for China,” said the commodities consultancy Wood Mackenzie in a recent assessment.
“Small and medium-sized businesses were meant to keep paying salaries for absent workers during the shutdown, but many won’t be able to as their own revenues are squeezed.
“That means less disposable income for consumers down the road—turning what should have been a temporary pause in domestic demand for consumer goods into potential permanent demand destruction,” the consultancy said.
For countries such as the Solomon Islands, exports to China are often driven by small to medium sized businesses. There are already indications that demand for key exports such as logs will decline. The productive sector in the Solomon Islands is also declining, commodity prices were already low prior to the outbreak.