Coronavirus: A Visual Guide to the Economic Impact

Apr 24 , 2020

Coronavirus: A Visual Guide to the Economic Impact

Here is a selection of maps and charts to help you understand the economic impact of the virus so far. Global shares take a hit Big shifts in stock markets, where shares in companies are bought and sold, can affect the value of pensions or individual savings accounts (ISAs). The FTSE, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nikkei have all seen huge falls since the outbreak began on 31 December. The Dow and the FTSE saw their biggest quarterly drops in the first three months of the year since 1987.


impact of coronavirus on stock market


Investors fear the spread of the coronavirus will destroy economic growth and that government action may not be enough to stop the decline.

In response, central banks in many countries, including the United Kingdom, slashed interest rates.

That should, in theory, make borrowing cheaper and encourage spending to boost the economy.

Global markets did also recover some ground in late March after the US Senate passed a $2 trillion (£1.7tn) coronavirus aid bill to help workers and businesses.

But some analysts have warned that they could be volatile until the pandemic is contained.

More people seeking work

In the United States, the number of people filing for unemployment hit a record high, signalling an end to a decade of expansion for one of the world's largest economies.

US jobless claims due to coronavirus


Close to one million people in the United Kingdom also applied for benefits in just two weeks at the end of March.

The surge in universal credit applications followed government measures to limit the spread of the virus, including closing pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops.

Oil prices crash

Demand for oil has all but dried up as lockdowns across the world have kept people inside.

The crude oil price had already been affected by a row between Opec, the group of oil producers, and Russia. Coronavirus has driven the price down further.


oil prices drop to record lows



Brent crude is the benchmark used by Europe and the rest of the world. Its price dipped below $20, to the lowest level seen in 18 years.

In the United States, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) turned negative for the first time in history.


oil trades in the negatives for first time in history


Although Opec and other countries have now agreed to cut production, the world still has more crude oil than it can use.

Risk of recession

If the economy is growing, that generally means more wealth and more new jobs.

It's measured by looking at the percentage change in gross domestic product, or the value of goods and services produced, typically over three months or a year.

But the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that the global economy will shrink by 3% this year.

Source: BBC