The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments on Monday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.
AIR CARE: Britain’s health service is asking airline cabin crew who have been laid off to go to work in temporary new hospitals being built to treat COVID-19 patients. The National Health Service says easyJet and Virgin Atlantic are writing to thousands of staff - especially those with first aid training - asking them to work at hospitals being built inside convention centers in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Those who sign up will perform support roles under the supervision of doctors and nurses.
European budget airline easyJet is grounding all of its 344 aircraft amid a collapse in demand. It said there was “no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights.” The carrier had already canceled most of its flights and reached an agreement with unions on furlough arrangements for its cabin crew.
The European Council says EU member states have suspended airport slot requirements until Oct. 24 to help ease the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the aviation industry. Under EU regulations, airlines are subject to a "use it or lose it rule" and are required to operate 80% of their allocated slots, the right of an aircraft to take off or land at a congested airport at a certain time of the day. If they don't abide by this rule, they face losing their right to the slot.
CENTRAL BANKS AND GOVERNMENT: South Korea will provide as much as 1 million won ($817) in gift certificates or electronic coupons to all but the richest 30% of households. The country will spend around 9.1 trillion won ($7.4 billion) on the one-time giveaways, which will reach 14 million households.
South Korea has used various financial tools to support its economy during the global health crisis, including cutting its baseline interest rate to an all-time low, expanding short-term loans for financial institutions and introducing a rescue package for companies totaling 100 trillion won ($81.7 billion).
EXTRA: Facebook is investing an additional $100 million in local journalism to support reporting on the pandemic. Emergency grant funding of $25 million will go to local news through the Facebook Journalism Project and another $75 million will be devoted to media marketing. Facebook, which has a rocky relationship with the media industry, has already committed $300 million to journalism organizations.
8 Stocks You Can Count On During Any Crisis
Depending on how you look at it, the economic outlook is getting cloudier or clearer.
The argument for a cloudy economy is easy to make. Multiple times of day we hear about more Americans testing positive for the novel coronavirus. The worldwide number of positive tests exceeds one million. And unfortunately, it will go higher. We just don’t know by how much.
But there are two parts to this ongoing situation. The first is the real-time science experiment as the world attempts to flatten the curve. The other is the very real economic impact. And the numbers of the economic carnage are coming in faster than any significant evidence of a flattening curve.
The number of unemployed now exceeds six million and will only rise. The government is throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the problem. But it’s an experiment in real-time. We won’t know the results for some time.
But even while we wait for a new normal to return, there are ways for you to profit. There are companies that are keeping our economy going now, and have a business model that sets them up well for success after the pandemic is over.
View the "8 Stocks You Can Count On During Any Crisis".