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The Big Picture: Coronavirus & Impact on Economy

The human cost of the coronavirus outbreak is climbing across China and beyond. The economic cost is also mounting. That damage is, for the most part, not due to the virus itself, but due to efforts to prevent it from spreading. There are strict restrictions on moving out of Wuhan, where the outbreak began, a city with a population of 11 million. The lockdown, also now extended to other parts of Hubei province, prevents business-related travel as well as the movement of goods and workers. The impact is not confined to China. International retailers have closed operations in China. Several overseas airlines have stopped flights to China and international hotel chains have been offering refunds. And beyond that, there is growing concern about integrated international supply chains. Hyundai, of South Korea, has suspended its car production because of problems with the supply of parts from its operation in China - an early warning sign of possible extensive disruption ahead.

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