Out of the Box Thinking & Food for Thought

How does the Covid-19 crisis push us invent and adapt? There appears to be two novel ideas which can be used as examples of new approaches, resulting directly from the pandemic. One comes from the home appliances industry, where producers (Whirlpool, LG Electronics, Electrolux) are incorporating hygienic upgrades into their products – sanitizing heaters in washing machines, and expanded use of germ-killing ultraviolet lights in refrigerators. Another idea is the utilization of sniffer dogs to detect the coronavirus, piloted by Helsinki and Dubai airports, through which dogs are trained to sniff out the virus in 10 seconds with almost 100% accuracy. What a job! Poor dogs!

Did retail progress 10 years in 10 months? This is what the CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association believes has happened since the beginning of the pandemic. In this view, all areas of retail business are contributing, including retail, supply chain, sourcing, and technology. The Association’s members, including Calvin Klein, Levi Strauss, Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, adopted an ‘omnichannel’ shopping model, under which customers buy on-line and pick-up in the store, which is now seen as a rule instead of the exception (opposite from pre-pandemic).

Is higher inflation coming in 2021? This is what economics professors and specialist are claiming as a result of the expansion of the broad-based money supply in certain countries, especially in the USA. Inflation results when significant levels of fiscal stimulus are injected by governments around the world to support economic stability during a crisis like the current pandemic. The same conclusion can be drawn also after studying historical data following major shocks or events (e.g., the 1917 Influenza pandemic or the Global Financial Crisis would be examples).

How severe will the Covid-19 pandemic be on the economic environment? The World Bank believes that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the world economy has lost a decade. Particularly impacted has been global trade and investment, as well as contributions to educational productivity. The World Bank has lowered its’ estimate for the potential of the worldwide growth for the period 2020-2029, to 1.9% down from 2.5% achieved during the last decade.