The Covid-19-related trough has been reached. The GDP figures for the second quarter confirmed the expected historic slump in economic activity in the Eurozone and the U.S. and the different recovery speeds across advanced economies. For the next quarter, we expect economic activity in the Eurozone to increase by +12.8% Q/Q. What to watch out for in the second half of the year?
Impact underwriting can offer a ‘double dividend’, generating revenues in a growing market besides realizing positive externalities for society. In this context, we identify 9 fields of sustainable action for the insurance sector.
Our latest reporting of insolvencies of large companies - those with over EUR50mn of turnover - points to a surge in major insolvencies in Q2 2020 after a soft start of the year. Retail, services and energy were the most impacted sectors, but automotive also stood out with a noticeable increase. What does this mean for companies? As the Covid-19 pandemic creates an insolvency time bomb, we expect a stronger risk of domino effects, notably on fragile providers along supply chains.
Covid-19 entails longer payment delays and rising inventories among large corporates. Global firms’ liquidity needs, as measured by Working Capital Requirements (WCR) will increase by +5 days to 74 days in 2020 or USD8tn (+USD140bn). These liquidity needs are unfortunately not on the radar of policymakers, yet represent the equivalent of close to 10% of the global money supply. As a result, suppliers will continue to play the invisible bank to their clients, use more short-term credit lines from banks and look for additional funds from shareholders.
An unprecedented disruption in trade, manufacturing and retail activities, followed by a major economic crisis, will send the turnover of the European textile and apparel industry down by -19% in 2020, amid a -9% slump in GDP for Eurozone countries. We expect turnover to bounce back by about +15% in 2021 and return to pre-crisis levels only in 2023, assuming a progressive easing of the global sanitary emergency and substantial fiscal and monetary support to the economy.
Despite the major relief provided by the various job-retention schemes and abundant funding, we believe that up to 8% of total industry employment (about 158,000 jobs) and 6% of companies (about 13,000) could disappear by the end of 2021. The share of SMEs in the textile industry’s total turnover is twice as high as the manufacturing sector average, making it more vulnerable.