Indiana is currently in the second phase of Governor Eric Holcomb’s plan to reopen the state following the recent economic shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This had led many Hoosiers to wonder if the state and national economies are gearing up for a recovery.
Though the novel coronavirus is only just beginning to be understood and its spread continues to be a developing situation, it is hard to resist the urge to try to predict how it will affect the world going forward. So, while we can’t see the future, our Indianapolis personal injury lawyer decided to take a look at the facts available in an attempt to speculate if any good news is in store for the global, national, and regional economies.
How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Economy So Far?
The coronavirus has devastated the economy in many ways. Unemployment has reached record highs, thousands of businesses have been forced to close temporarily if not for good, and international supply chains have been disrupted. Yet, there have been some swift and successful attempts to mitigate this disaster.
After the U.S. declared a state of emergency in mid-March, policymakers acted quickly to provide funds to the individuals and small and mid-sized businesses that needed it the most. The $2.2 trillion stimulus bill known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $1,200 to qualifying individuals, $2,400 to married couples, and $500 per child. The bill also set aside $349 billion in forgivable loan funding for America’s small businesses. The CARES Act allowed many people to stay home without going broke, mitigating the spread of the virus and providing peace of mind at the same time. There may even be a second stimulus bill already in the works.
With Indiana starting to reopen some businesses while also ramping up testing for the virus, the state is on track to initiate its own recovery process. But with predictions that COVID-19 deaths will increase in the coming months, it is worth asking if we’re ready to move forward yet—and, if so, how.
How Will the Coronavirus Impact the Economy Going Forward?
Governor Holcomb’s “Back on Track” plan notes that while conditions seem to suggest that a gradual reopening is doable, progress will be halted if the health and safety of Hoosiers become threatened. This suggests that no matter what comes next, our government will be ready to respond to it. But, what can we expect?
Numerous projections speculating the future of the global economy have already cropped up across the Internet. Models showcasing different scenarios for economic recovery have been published by establishments such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Goldman Sachs, and the New York Times. Most of them suggest it will take a significant amount of time for the economy to return to normal.
A recent Forbes article argues that we shouldn’t strive to return to normalcy at all, however. The pre-COVID world was already rife with disaster, it claims, from global warming to drastic income and wealth inequality. Rather than going back to this, we could use the global interruption the coronavirus has caused as a chance to improve the economy in new and innovative ways. This might not be as farfetched as it sounds—a recent survey conducted in the U.K. found that only 9% of people want things to return to the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another way to gauge the potential for future economic success is to look at nations that have had excellent responses to the pandemic and have already been able to reopen, such as Vietnam, Taiwan, New Zealand, and South Korea. Though these nations have specific qualities that likely contributed to a less aggressive spread—such as New Zealand and Taiwan’s statuses as somewhat isolated island nations—by adopting similar tactics the U.S. and Indiana may be able to follow suit. These nations prove that the earlier widespread testing and strict social distancing measures are put in place, the sooner things can return to business as usual—while also keeping people safe.
With only 33% of Americans expecting the economy to rebound in the coming months, the projections aren’t always hopeful. However, it is exciting to think that what comes next could be positive if we take the proper measures. In the meantime, we hope everyone stays healthy and safe!
Crossen Law Firm is dedicated to providing legal counsel and representation during this time. If you would like to schedule a remote consultation with our Indianapolis personal injury lawyer, please contact us anytime.