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Top Industry News from the Past Week

Top Industry News from the Past Week

20th Apr 2020

Top Industry News from the Past Week - Monday 20th April 2020

China economy shrinks for first time in decades

All over the world country’s economies have seen massive drops over the first quarter of 2020 as a result of businesses slowing down or even closing and financial markets falling as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, with some experiencing their worst figures since the financial collapse in 2008.

 

For China, the world’s second biggest market and the centre of the outbreak, the numbers are even more troubling as their economy shrink by 6.8%, the largest margin in decades, meaning dark times not just for China but for many others who rely on their major Asian markets in the nearby regions.

 

US already planning to partially reopen states 

While areas of the world debate whether to relax lockdown restrictions as reported cases change from day to day, the United States, which has the highest number of cases (654,301) and deaths (32,186) linked to coronavirus in the world, is in the process of talks between President Donald Trump and the 50 state governors regarding reopening economies and borders in the coming months.

 

The news has been met with much criticism, much like many of Trump’s decisions and claims since the outbreak reached the States with many believing that a tightening of restrictions is needed to reduce the rate of cases. The President stated these plans for each state will be in the hands of each governor with the federal government providing aid and assistance where needed.

 

New UK Ventilator Approved

While cases and deaths as a result of the coronavirus continue to rise, it has been announced that a new medical ventilator has been approved in the UK that is hoped will aid those people with the most severe symptoms of the virus. Organisations part of the project include Airbus, Siemens, Ford and a number of Formula 1 teams in conjunction with medical supplier Penlon.

 

It is believed that by early May 1,500 of these new ventilators could be produced on a weekly basis with the NHS stating that their current stock of 10,000 will need to approximately double in quantity to deal with the growing number of cases in the whole of the UK.

 

EU to protect weak firms during downturn

As many organisations across Europe struggle to stay open or continue to do business during respective national lockdowns, the European Union has pledged to support those companies in worst positions, including denying foreign businesses from proposing forced takeovers in an effort to maintain European business and halt state-owned firms from taking advantage of businesses struggling to survive.

 

The European Union has already agreed a 500 billion Euro aid package and hopes that this pledge will stop countries such as China from breaking into the European markets which could cause security issues and lead to deteriorating advances in technology and expertise in the region.

 

Improvements in UK air quality

One of the big plus points of the outbreak has been the rapid and significant improvement of UK air quality as a result of planes being grounded and businesses and warehouses being put on hold. Compared the first three months of 2020 to that of 2019, DEFRA analysis shows that the amount of nitrogen dioxide filling in the air over Britain has dropped by approximately 40%.

 

Much like in the aftermath of the Icelandic volcano eruption in 2010, a disaster in one area has led to great benefits in another. And with thousands of people working from home and not travelling for business reasons, organisations are likely to consider these as viable options in the post-outbreak world, perhaps leading to a strong middle ground with regards to carbon emissions and footprint impact in the future.

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