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At first, the COVID-19 epidemic in China only affected a limited number of value chains – but it has since turned into a global pandemic. Its repercussions have created a double shock – supply and demand – that is affecting a large number of industries in all over the world.
After a 2019 that was dominated by trade tensions between the United States and China, Coface has observed an incipent recovery in Asia (excluding China), supported by supply chain shifts and additional liquidity from the US Federal Reserve.
Although the second quarter of 2020 is shaping up to be the most challenging period of the year, there are now good reasons to think that the road to recovery will be long and arduous. Despite immediate tax deferrals, liquidity guarantees, it is likely that many firms will find themselves in difficulty.
The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are of an unprecedented scale in Europe. The twin supply-demand shock has resulted in the halting of production (at least partially) in many companies as employees cannot go to work and in a fall in consumptionbecause of mobility restrictions. The decline in revenues has deteriorated companies’ cash positions, fostering an increase in payment delays – and, ultimately, payment defaults.
A few weeks after the first containment easing measures, economic activity seems to be picking up in most European countries. However, about two months after China, this gradual and partial recovery will not erase the effects of containment on global growth.