Global Economic Collapse and Distress of Nations: A large majority of Americans are worried the economy will take a massive hit from the coronavirus
Joseph Zeballos-Roig Business Insider•March 3, 2020
A large majority of Americans are concerned the US economy will take a large hit from the coronavirus, according to a new Business Insider poll.
As the coronavirus continued to spread worldwide and public health officials warned of new infections in the US, the stock market shed $6 trillion in wealth. The losses came amid concerns the virus would stymie economic growth, slash corporate profits, and disrupt global supply chains.
The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development warned on Monday that “the global economy faces its biggest danger since the financial crisis.”
“There is mounting evidence of sharp declines in tourism, supply chain disruptions, weak commodity demand and falling consumer confidence,” the OECD said.
Around 78% of respondents said they were concerned of the virus’s impact on the American economy, which has steadily expanded over the last decade. The data suggests unease is spilling over from Wall Street onto Main Street.
Business Insider asked 1,051 respondents the question: “How concerned are you that coronavirus will have an impact on the economy as a whole?” Then they were invited to select an option that reflected their level of concern.
Here is a breakdown of the results:
17% of respondents said they were “extremely concerned” about the virus’s impact on the economy.
24% said they were “very concerned” about the coronavirus’s economic effects.
37% said they were “somewhat concerned” about its effects.
14% of respondents were “not so concerned” on coronavirus’s economic impact.
5% said they were “not at all concerned” that the coronavirus would impact the economy.
3% responded “I don’t know.”
The heightened level of unease among the public could hurt President Trump’s reelection pitch since he has staked his it on a robust economy. Surveys from Gallup and other major news organizations have consistently found voters giving Trump higher marks on his stewardship of the economy than on other political issues.
That anxiety could also translate into lower spending among consumers, which power around 70% of American economic activity. Still, consumers have historically changed their spending habits slowly.
Health officials are warning that the coronavirus’s spread in the US is “inevitable.” They’re urging Americans to prepare for the possibility of school closings, workplace shutdowns, or the cancellation of large public gatherings.
Should the economy enter a slowdown or even a recession as a result of the virus, it would place the central element in his argument for reelection at risk among voters.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weigh its sample based on race or income. A total of 1,051 respondents were collected February 27, 2020, a margin of error plus or minus 3.09 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.