Advertise Here
Icon

Directory

IconActuaries
IconAdministration Outsourcing
IconAsset Managers
IconAssociations & Institutes
IconAuditors
IconBanking
IconBBBEE Consulting and Verification Agencies
IconBusiness Chambers
IconBusiness Process Management
IconBusiness Process Outsourcing
IconCompliance
IconConsumer Protection
IconCorporate Governance
IconCredit Bureaus
IconCurrencies
IconDebit Order Collection Facilities
IconEducation and Training
IconFAIS
IconHuman Resources
IconInformation Technology and Software Partners
IconInvestment Consulting
IconInvestment Fund Managers
IconLegal
IconLISPs
IconListed Equities
IconOmbud
IconParticipation Bond Managers
IconPolicy Administration
IconPolicy Trading
IconProperty Unit Trusts (PUTS)
IconPublications
IconRegulatory Authorities
IconStock Exchange
IconSurveys and Research
IconTraining Courses & Workshops
IconUnit Trust Fund Managers
IconWellness Programs
Image
  Subscribe To »

Coface Barometer Q1 2020 COVID-19: heading towards a sudden global surge in business insolvencies

Published

2020

Tue

07

Apr

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. The uniqueness of this crisis makes comparisons with the previous ones useless, as they all had financial origins (e.g. global credit crisis of 2008-09, great depression of 1929). The question is no longer which countries and sectors of activity will be affected by this shock, but rather which few will be spared.

The shock could be even more violent in emerging economies: in addition to managing the pandemic, which will be more difficult for them, they are also facing the fall in oil prices, as well as capital outflows that have quadrupled compared to their 2008 levels.

In this context, Coface forecasts that 2020 will see the global economy’s first recession since 2009, with a growth rate of -1.3% (after +2.5% in 2019). Coface also expects recessions in 68 countries (vs only 11 last year), world trade to fall by 4.3% this year (after a -0.4% drop in 2019), and a 25% worldwide increase in business failures (compared to our previous January forecast of +2%).

 

The largest increase in business failures since 2009: +25% expected in 2020

Companies’ credit risk will be very high even in a “best-case” scenario, where economic activity gradually restarts in the third quarter of the year, and there is no second wave of the coronavirus epidemic in the second half of 2020.

This trend in business failures would affect the United States (+39%) and all the main Western European economies (+18%): Germany (+11%), France (+15%), United Kingdom (+33%), Italy (+18%) and Spain (+22%). The shock could be even more violent in emerging economies: in addition to managing the pandemic, which will be more difficult for them, they are also facing the fall in oil prices, as well as capital outflows that have quadrupled compared to their 2008 level.

 

International trade volume to drop for the 2nd consecutive year; a possible modification of goods international trade structure?

The risks weighing on the forecast of a 4.3% decline of world trade in volume in 2020 are downward, as the numerous border closure announcements are not taken into account in Coface's forecasting model (model based on oil prices, shipping costs, confidence of manufacturing companies in the United States, and Korean exports as explanatory variables).

In the longer term, the COVID-19 crisis could also have consequences on the structure of global value chains. The main source of companies’ vulnerability in the current context is their heavy dependence on a reduced number of suppliers located in a few, or even a single country. Therefore, increasing these numbers to anticipate possible supply chain disruptions will now be a priority for companies.

Most sectors affected, although some are spared

For businesses, the sudden confinement measures taken by governments in more than 40 countries to stem the expansion of the COVID-19 virus, representing over half of the world's population, have had immediate consequences.

These measures have resulted in a supply shock unlike any observed during previous major crises. The initial shock was not due to a financial crisis, but related to the real economy: people cannot work, and companies are experiencing disruptions to intermediate goods supply.

Tourism, hotels, restaurants, leisure, and transport are badly affected, as are almost all specialised distributions segments and most of the manufacturing sectors (excluding the agri-food industry). Other service sectors have been much less affected: telecommunications, water, and sanitation, to name a few.

Accompanied to this supply shock is an equally brutal demand shock. Many consumers are cancelling or postponing their expenditure on goods and services. In addition, household confidence is being weakened by the impact of confinement.

Durable consumer goods such as vehicles will likely be among the most punished by this shock. Other expenses, such as textiles and clothing, as well as electronics, are also likely to be reduced to almost zero.

At the other end of the spectrum, the consumption of agri-food and pharmaceutical products might actually benefit from this exceptional situation.

 

The pandemic’s political consequences

The most obvious consequence of the pandemic in the short term is the exacerbation of existing geopolitical tensions.

The risk of a new wave of protectionist measures, targeting particularly the key sectors of the new health and economic order (e.g. limiting exports of agri-food and/or pharmaceutical products, deemed vital) cannot be excluded. The continuation of the US-China “trade war” targeting strategic sectors, notably electronics, also remains a possibility. This could be reinforced by the presidential campaign in the United States, and/or by the event of rising in social protests in one of these two countries.

 
Source: Coface
 
« Back to previous page Print this page » |
 

Breaking News »

Crisis brings opportunities for equity investors

By Justin Floor, fund manager at PSG Asset Management   It has been a long winter for many SA investors and we don’t know when it will turn around. In fact, there is still very little we know ...
Read More »

  

Insurance and Risk in a Post-Covid Economy

Certain insurance classes will take a hit while others will have time to recover, consumer behaviour will radically change the rules of engagement for insurers and brokers, and accelerate digital transformation   Nothing ...
Read More »

  

COVID-19 Swings the Spotlight Back onto Emerging Countries’ Debt

While the focus so far has been mainly on China, Europe and the United States, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be even more severe for emerging economies, says International credit insurer, ...
Read More »

  

Coronavirus impact on shipping industry: idle vessels face new risks, Allianz warns

Increasing disruption and economic pressures caused by the pandemic also has serious risk management implications for the maritime community and insurers alike. Covid-19 pandemic makes it difficult to relieve crews, ...
Read More »

 

More News »

Image

Healthcare »

Image

Life »

Image

Retirement »

Image

Short-term »

Advertise Here
Image
Image
Advertise Here

From The Glossary »

Icon

Cancellation, Pro-rata:

A cancellation on which the earned premium is calculated in the exact proportion that the elapsed period of the policy bears to the policy term. For example an annual policy in force for six months would have a pro-rata earned premium of 50% of the earned premium.
More Definitions »

 

Advertise

 

eZine

 

Contact IG

 

Media Pack

 

RSS Feeds

By using this website you agree to the Terms of Use.
Copyright © Insurance Gateway (Pty) Ltd 2004 - 2020. All Rights Reserved.