The crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike any other the world has experienced, requiring social distancing and restrictions on mobility, and rendering some economic activity impossible. This publication explores and compares the characteristics that have affected the ability of firms, workers and consumers to maintain production, employment and consumption during the COVID-19 crisis, across industries and countries. It takes an analytical forward-looking perspective, considering a broad collection of indicators and evidence to guide policies. The aspects covered centre around topics of business dynamics; productivity; innovation and digital technologies; interconnectedness; inclusiveness; and skills.
The report incorporates both a short-term perspective – analysing the supply restrictions and lockdowns that have characterised containment responses – and a medium- to long-term view, focusing on changes in demand that have arisen through recessionary effects and changes in preferences.
The purpose of this publication is to provide insights to policy makers in three ways. First, by providing an overview of the different channels through which the crisis has affected firms differently across industries; then, by identifying country characteristics which may mediate these channels and mitigate or amplify the impacts of this and future shocks on the economy; and finally, by exploring systematic differences in the impact across population subgroups and the implications for policy.