With COVID-19 and concern spreading around the world, Brunswick Insight gathers the latest global sentiment polls. Please find below this week’s highlights, with links allowing easy access to the detailed findings.
In a hurry?... 3 key facts of the week
1. With or without a second outbreak, the global consequences of COVID-19 will be severe and long-lasting, according to the latest OECD report.
OECD predicts that even without a second wave of infections, global economic activity will fall 6% in 2020, unemployment will climb to 9.2% and living standards will drop, with five years of income growth lost by 2021.s also reported that the pandemic is expected to drive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions down 6% this year. It is crucial that companies seize this opportunity and prioritize strategies with ESG at the forefront.
2. CFOs fear a second wave of COVID-19 infections will threaten recovery but look ahead to rebuild revenue through innovation and emerge stronger and more agile than before.
A survey conducted by PwC among 330 US finance leaders during the week of June 8, shows that:
- Worries about a second wave of COVID-19 infections top the list of threats to business recoveries—a concern for 59% of US finance leaders.
- CFOs are pursuing changes to capture growth and emerge stronger. Sixty-three percent plan changes to products and services, to reflect customers changing wants & needs; 41% look to alter pricing. The majority (72%) believe they will be more resilient and agile in the long run.
- Continued focus on Tech investments shows companies are not giving up on growth, signalling further optimism about where companies are headed post-COVID-19.
- Remote working no longer viewed as a productivity drain, with 54% of CFOs planning to make remote work a permanent option. There is therefore a need for companies to have a “purpose led” flexible, agile plan for their workforce, with well-being at the heart of it.
3. UK government’s handling of COVID-19 continues to be criticized, while Asian governments are viewed positively by the majority of their public.
Only 39% of UK population think its government is handling COVID-19 well. Governments in US (43%), France (43%) and Poland (44%) fair only slightly better. This is in sharp contrast with many of the Asia Pacific governments, whose handling of the crisis is rated much more positively by their public, particularly in Vietnam (97%), Malaysia (94%), Taiwan (89%), Australia (86%) and Singapore (81%).