3. Growing virus recession threat
In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon," Axios' Dion Rabouin writes.
What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact on the U.S. and the rest of the world.
What they're saying: Business investment, which had declined through the last three quarters of 2019, could be further hit, Constance Hunter, chief economist at KPMG, tells Axios.
- "If the virus spreads within the U.S. in any meaningful way that is going to have a negative impact."
- Oil companies, already under pressure with prices in the toilet, would be squeezed even more by a likely slowdown in investment spending, Hunter adds.
My thought bubble: Another upshot of a recession relevant to Generate readers would be that climate change action would likely be put on the back burner. It's a lot harder for countries to prioritize long-term, chronic and serious problems (like global warming) during an immediate crisis that could threaten people's jobs.
Reality check: Stories noting how China's CO2 emissions are dropping due to the coronavirus merely shows the difficulty of addressing climate change. It's like someone looking to lose weight is happy he's eating less when sick. It's not a strategy, is besides the point and is insensitive to those dealing with the outbreak.