Features

COVID-19 slows economy

MINISTER’S DESK with VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
WITHOUT doubt, apart from the loss of human life – which keeps mounting now by over a thousand daily – the biggest impact of the coronavirus or COVID-19 will be felt in the economies of the world.
Already, many countries have registered job losses due to factories shutting down or cutting production due to the respiratory disease that has now affected nearly all the countries on the globe.
Some economists reckon the impact of COVID-19 will be as bad as the meltdown of 2008 that caused a major recession in the US, with ripple effects across the entire globe.
In Zambia, which now has 36 confirmed cases, the first sector to get the full impact of COVID-19 was the tourism industry, which has seen a drastic fall in tourist visits, forcing some hotels to shut down.
Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu says the impact of the COVID-19 has been extensive and severe on many fronts, and will result in financial market stress and a collapse in commodity prices.
Dr Ng’andu said the outbreak has led to disruptions in supply chains created uncertainties and significantly dampened growth prospects.
The minister said in an address on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy that preliminary assessment by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicates a substantial slowdown in global economic growth in 2020 compared to 2019.
He said the reduction in trade has impacted negatively on revenues, particularly for commodity exporting economies.
“The cancellation of flights by major carriers has also impacted negatively on trade in services such as tourism,” he said.
The minister said the financial markets have not been spared by the pandemic. The international economy has seen investors diverting their funds from traditional assets such as CLICK TO READ MORE

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