Both the public and private sectors are scrambling to slow the spread of the illness and contain COVID-19 infections. While the full economic consequences of this black swan event are still unclear, we know that the effects that the virus—and the drastic measures being taken to contain it—are already precipitating change across industries. Here are the top three ways Business Insider Intelligence and eMarketer analysts think the pandemic is set to impact telecoms and technology, digital media, payments and commerce, fintech, banking, and healthcare.
1. The clearest and most immediate business impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been a major disruption to supply chains. Having originated in China, the region was hit hard as a large number of citizens contracted the disease and many were forced into quarantine. This led to partial and full shutdowns of plants and factories, some of which were being used by prominent technology companies to manufacture their goods and products. For example, Apple experienced shortages on its iPhone supply as a result of the company’s primary manufacturer, Foxconn, shutting down much of its production in China. Ultimately for Apple, this will lead to a significantly reduced forecast in iPhone shipments through Q1—by as much as 10%, according to estimates by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cited by MacRumors. And while companies often have contingency plans, which revolve around ramping up production in a region that isn’t impacted, the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the globe makes it very difficult to pinpoint which regions would be least affected. Even then, the momentum and resources of the Chinese economy will not be easily replicated—”Made in China” initiatives have seen the government invest billions in advanced manufacturing sectors, including telecommunications equipment and semiconductors.
1. Global media ad spending is likely to take a hit due to the coronavirus, according to newly revised eMarketer estimates, but for now nearly all of the related slowdown is attributable to China alone. In 2020, eMarketer expects total media ad spending worldwide will reach $691.70 billion, up by 7% from 2019, per its updated forecast. That’s a decrease from eMarketer’s previous forecast, which estimated worldwide ad spending would rise by 7.4% to $712.02 billion this year. eMarketer’s new forecasts were completed on March 6, 2020, and represent a full-year outlook.
3. The spread of the illness is forcing the government’s hand to slacken some restrictions on access to virtual care—but we’re unsure their actions are going far enough. Last week, President Trump signed an $8.3 billion spending plan to address the coronavirus and quell its spread—and the bill includes a plan to allot $500 million to stamp down some of the blockades that bar Medicare members from accessing telehealth. For example, it lifted the rule that only seniors in certain geographic locations could use telehealth. Boosting access for seniors is crucial considering older people are at higher risk for developing fatal coronavirus cases, but we’re unsure the bill is combating limitations aggressively enough. For example, in order for a physician to virtually consult with a patient, the physician has to have engaged in telemedicine consultations with that same patient within the last three years. Thus, if a patient has never partaken in remote consultations—which is likely true for the large majority of seniors—they could be disqualified from using telemedicine.
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