An international team of researchers from the University of Sydney calculated how much the coronavirus pandemic has cost the global economy. They found that the travel industry was hit the hardest and that cutbacks on international travel had a ripple effect throughout the economy. They estimated that the economy lost $3.8 trillion as 147 million people found themselves unemployed.
"The loss of connectivity imposed to prevent the virus spreading triggers an economic 'contagion,' causing major disruptions to trade, tourism, energy, and finance sectors while easing environmental pressures most in some of the hardest-hit areas," the researchers wrote.
The researchers estimated that around three billion people were forced to stay at home as lockdown orders were implemented in most countries. One positive effect of people staying home during the pandemic was a historic drop in greenhouse gas emissions.
"We are experiencing the worst economic shock since the Great Depression, while at the same time we have experienced the greatest drop in greenhouse gas emissions since the burning of fossil fuels began," study co-author Dr. Arunima Malik said in a statement.
The researchers warned that reopening the economy too soon could cause "more severe and prolonged economic impacts."
"Moreover, subsequent economic shocks are likely to impact even further the quantity and quality of jobs, as well as affect vulnerable groups, such as migrant and unskilled workers who may not adapt to virtual-work arrangements," they wrote.
Photo: Getty Images