19 March 2020

ISA Risk Alert: The Coronavirus Crisis (19th of March)

Daily Summary

  • The number of known cases of the coronavirus (Covid-19) rose to more than 226,000 around the world, while the number of deaths attributed to this outbreak has risen to more than 9,280, with most of the outbreak’s victims being over the age of 70.
  • The situation in Europe continued to worsen, with two-thirds of the world’s active coronavirus cases now being found in that region.  Italy remained the center of the crisis in Europe, but the number of cases in places such as Spain, Switzerland and Luxembourg soared in recent days.
  • New studies showed that the virus was more easily spread than initially believed, as it appeared to be relatively robust, allowing it to survive for long periods of time in the air or on various surfaces.  This led to increasing calls for more stringent controls on personal travel and public gatherings.
  • Recent economic data from China and Europe has suggested that the impact of this crisis on the global economy in the first half of this year is likely to be significantly greater than was initially expected.


Key Developments

Economic Growth Forecasts Reduced: A number of central banks, private banks and other organizations have dramatically lowered their forecasts for global economic growth in 2020, with an increasing number now predicting a contraction in most developed economies this year.

European Stimulus: The European Central Bank (ECB) introduced a €750 billion ($820 billion) emergency stimulus package amid fears that the coronavirus will lead to deep recession in the Eurozone almost as severe as that of the global financial crisis in 2009.


Trend to Watch

For the first time since December, there were no new domestically-transmitted cases of the coronavirus discovered in China over the past 24 hours.  Nevertheless, there were 34 new cases that were brought into China from abroad.


The Coming Days

If current trends continue, the number of new cases of the coronavirus discovered in the United States in the coming days will surpass those of any other individual country as the outbreak spreads to more areas of the US.