April 23, 2020

The Geo-economic Fallout of COVID-19 for the Middle East

By ​Neil Bhatiya

As the global novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic nears the end of its third month, the economic fallout from COVID-19 represents nothing less than the gravest crisis since the 1929 Great Depression. International stay-at-home orders led to a collapse in global demand, emptying city streets, shuttering factories, grounding air travel, and leaving most global shipping in stasis. Loretta Mester, the president of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, summed it up when she called it a “huge, unprecedented, negative shock”.

It will take years for the full impact of COVID-19 to be accurately assessed. When the rate of infection finally subsides, governments around the world will begin a slow process to restart the global economy. They are currently trying to plan it, though they lack any identifiable precedent for what is required. No one now seems quite sure if we will be able to return to the status quo ante, or, if in trying to get back to normal in fits and starts, we will see the trajectory of global growth forever altered.

Read the full article in The Cairo Review.

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