How COVID-19 Affected Different Industries

COVID has impacted all global trade in a variety of ways. First, personal protective equipment has become much more appreciated, breaking the record for exporting a particular product in China. China is the leader in the export of goods in principle. However, in February and March, it experienced a significant decline, which, unlike other countries, was able to recover remarkably quickly. Other export leaders, the US and Germany, are still in the process of returning to their early 2020 baseline. Developing countries, for example, India, have experienced severe consequences with a rapid increase in the number of unemployed, their massive forced displacement from cities to villages in the country. Secondly, incomes in the production of canned food and long-term storage products also increased by a significant fraction of the time. Examples include soybeans and frozen meat from Brazil, which is also the market leader in these products. Third, the only significant industry where China has not yet managed to recover its export performance is clothing. Given the restrictions, it has become much more difficult and less cost-effective to transport clothing and footwear to other countries since many countries can rely on a domestic manufacturer. Only well-known brands are returning to high sales; otherwise, there has been a downward trend in exports.

In summary, it can be argued that, due to the spread of the virus, the purchasing power of many citizens has fallen. However, in advanced economies, this ability was quickly returned to a level close to the previous one. Demand for expensive items fell, and those stores and brands with online catalogs and delivery services got an advantage. Transportation and communication between countries became more complicated, as many closed borders. The most vulnerable to the virus turned out to be the sphere of tourism and agencies for mass events such as concerts, theater performances, festivals, and much more. In this regard, it can be concluded that other trends, even if the fight against COVID-19 is successful, will include compliance with personal and public safety measures with health control, a transition to a small and remote labor market, and an orientation towards a domestic product and production.

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The auto industry was hit hard in the US during the pandemic. The purchasing power of people has fallen; such expensive purchases have become unaffordable for many families, especially against the backdrop of an increasing rate of unemployment. A chain of events has led to a crisis in the fabrication of finished metal parts and steel mills, where existing excess capacity is beyond actual demand. Automotive exports also fell, but they are gradually returning to early 2020 values in all countries except Japan. The presence of a personal car began to play a more critical role in moving around the city since it almost excludes the possibility of infection, which is relatively high in public transport. However, on the other hand, the massive transition to distance learning, remote work, the development of delivery services lead to the fact that the use of one’s car has been reduced to a minimum.

The increasing shift of employees to teleworking and the integration of such a regime into the headquarters of many companies poses a threat to the automotive industry. It is believed that education also requires an integrated approach with distance and face-to-face learning. A decrease in demand for transportation around the city may turn into a crisis for the automotive industry, which will affect the turnover of metalworking plants. Less need to travel distances can lead to the development of taxis, as maintaining own car is more expensive in such cases. However, it cannot be argued that this industry will inevitably collapse. Right now, electric cars are being developed. In some countries, they are already actively used. Since this development leads to an improvement in the environmental situation, with the help of the state and the availability of the product, a new milestone in the history of the automotive industry is possible, which will give record profits to this industry.

The tourism and entertainment sector has suffered the most significant losses, which will be extremely difficult to recover shortly. The entertainment industry associated with mass events, under certain conditions, could go bankrupt due to the restrictions imposed. Event promoters and concert operators constantly keep their fingers on the pulse, as the activities of a vast number of people working in show business have ceased. If the artists themselves, having lost their tours, could compensate for their losses with studio work, then event promoters, sound engineers, light show designers, and stage technicians and workers were left without work at all. This industry was best supported in Germany, as vast sums of money were allocated from the budget to pay people associated with the arts. Concert promoters and ticket operators were kept afloat only by the loyalty of fans who did not return tickets in order to receive a refund.

In the next three years, the fate of such a service sector depends on the state’s actions, the spread of the virus, and collaborative work with artists. If the dynamics of recoveries and diseases are positive, then perhaps next year, many spectators will again attend mass events. Nevertheless, there will be a need to check personal protective equipment and health control. However, if the pandemic continues for some time, this service sector will again have to find a compromise with the state, artists, venues, and its staff. On the other hand, the exit from the pandemic conditions will be marked by a relatively large number of events since the tours of prominent artists are planned for three to four years in advance. In the coming years, those events that are postponed from previous years should still take place.

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