The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in business losses, financial difficulties for governments, and debt strangulation for individuals. At its peak, the novel coronavirus nearly brought down economies as they scrambled for safety through lockdowns, curfews, and other restrictive measures.
However, a common misconception is that the economic consequences of the health issue are the same for all countries around the world. COVID-19, contrary to popular belief, wreaked havoc on various economies in different ways.
The following is a list of some of the world's economies made vulnerable by the pandemic:
The United States
The US economy suffered significant blows during the COVID-19 pandemic, from financial markets to employment and the travel industry. The US GDP was at first projected to contract by 3.5 percent in 2020. The annualized loss was the largest since the end of WWII, indicating that the United States is one of the worst-affected economies.
The drop in household spending reflects changes in the US economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail sales fell by 8.7 percent between February and March 2020, reflecting a massive drop in consumer spending. The COVID-19 situation had a negative impact on the country's industrial production and employment in relation to business cycles, resulting in widespread business closures. These indicators show that the COVID-19 pandemic had a wide-ranging impact on the US economy and could take some time before normalcy resumes in some industrial sectors.
An early assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi revealed that it had affected every aspect of the country. It was particularly bad in the agricultural sector, which serves as the nation's engine.
An increase in COVID-19 cases pushed the Malawian economy even further down. The external shock had several short-term effects on the country. The developments occurred due to disruptions in remittance flows, foreign domestic investments, trade, and the tourism industry. Inflationary effects in 2021 caused many to seek assets to protect against it. Cryptocurrencies became the go to for this type of investment throughout Africa.
The novel virus has also been wreaking havoc on Malawian urban life. Individuals and businesses in the manufacturing, hotel, export and agri-food system sectors have seen a significant drop in earnings. The COVID-19 pandemic is adversity that directly and indirectly affected Malawi's economy.
India has also experienced regress as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Almost every economic sector has suffered a setback in one or more areas. Agriculture has suffered the most severe effects of any affected economic sector. Agriculture is India's backbone, as it is in Malawi. Due to movement restrictions and other containment effects, both primary agricultural production and subsidiary agro-inputs have been hampered.
The aviation and tourism sectors in India have also suffered a decline. Because the locality relies heavily on imported raw materials, the famed pharmaceutical industry also faced difficulties due to travel restrictions. The overall effect in the country includes a decrease in household expenditure due to the decline in disposable income among individuals. The novel virus almost put a noose on India's economy and made life difficult for Indians, especially low-income households.
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is also a major victim of the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite an apparent steady recovery, the novel coronavirus caused a severe recession.
COVID-19 had the most significant impact on people in the United Kingdom during its peak. The novel virus prompted authorities to implement measures to reduce virus transmission. The restrictions contributed to a 9.7 percent drop in GDP in 2020. The decline was the steepest since 1948, indicating the severity of the impact on the UK economy.
Despite the decline, the UK economy has been steadily improving as the number of COVID-19 cases decreases and better measures are implemented. On the other hand, the novel Omicron variant poses a significant threat to this advancement.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated Angola's economic problems, which had been present since 2014. The Angolan financial crisis worsened in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the country's overreliance on the oil market, the external shock had a tremendous impact in 2020. The country's GDP fell by 4.5 percent over the year. However, Angola's government declared a state of emergency and enacted several measures that caused it to skyrocket in 2021. The implementation of the measures protected all Angolans, including the most vulnerable citizens. Even though it was a negative phase, Angola is working hard to resolve issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economy is steadily picking up.
In 2020, most economies were expected to experience significant declines. However, most countries had a better year in 2021 due to their efforts to improve their well-being.
Despite the upcoming COVID-19 virus variants, the current anti-virus measures promise a brighter future for most countries in 2022 and beyond. Economists and financial market experts project a steady economic recovery phase once the COVID-19 blows over. Regardless of the consequences, most economies are expected to grow exponentially in the near future.