Spotlight: Econ Op-eds in Summary (Week ended 19th February'20)
1. Coronavirus epidemic and China’s slowdown: Economic impact on Sri Lanka
By: Janaka Wijayasiri
· The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted economic activities in China and beyond. Stock prices have fallen, and factories remain closed with travel restrictions being imposed to and from China. Today, with China contributing more to global production, the expected fallout is much higher than the previous SARS epidemic. Sri Lanka also remains vulnerable to this economic fallout.
· Among other impacts, Sri Lankan exports of precious metal ores, footwear and base metals are likely to be affected, along with a big hit on imports, especially on intermediates required for our exports. The imposed travel restrictions are likely to disrupt the recovering tourism industry and some infrastructure projects which involves a significant Chinese workforce are reported to be stalled as well.
· While taking measures to curtail the spread of the virus, Sri Lanka should also be aware of this possible economic fallout of the virus, especially in the first quarter of 2020. Though many expect the economic shocks from the outbreak to be temporary, it can increase if the virus continues to spread and lasts for a prolonged period of time.
(Compiled by: Chayu Damsinghe & Asel Hettiarachchi)