World Economy Braces For Supply Chain Chaos As COVID Closes China  

The global economy is in disarray as the war in Ukraine unleashed a commodity shock with increasing risks of stagflation. Adding to the turmoil is an outbreak of COVID-19 in China that may unleash another supply chain crisis. 

News from China over the last day shows a new outbreak of the highly contagious omicron variant has infected more than 5,000 people, the most since the early days of the pandemic in early 2020. China’s zero-tolerance approach has shuttered factories and placed some 51 million people into some form of lockdown. 

As of Tuesday, omicron variant infections have been reported in 21 provinces and municipalities nationwide, including the capital of Beijing. According to CNN, five cities are in lockdown, including Changchun, Jilin, Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Langfang. 

Lockdowns have forced factories to idle production and risk snarling production from Apple iPhones to Amazon Echo & Alexa devices to Toyota SUVs to smart television to all sorts of other electronic devices. Disruptions to exports may induce shortages and drive up inflation, just as the Federal Reserve embarks on hiking interest rates to control inflation at four-decade highs. 

A Bank of America Corp. survey of fund managers published on Tuesday showed confidence in global growth this year is the lowest since July 2008, and stagflation expectations have jumped to a whopping 62% of respondents. 

“You take all these little paper cuts and you start to add them up and you could be looking at a potential significant slowing of the global economy,” said Jay Bryson, chief economist at Wells Fargo & Co.

China’s zero-tolerance policy has reminded us that supply chains are still subjected to massive disruptions. The lockdowns couldn’t come at a worse time, as spring tends to be one of the busiest shipping seasons of the year. 

Shenzhen’s 17.5 million residents were placed under lockdown on Sunday. The city resides in Guangdong, a coastal province of southeast China known for its manufacturing hub and ports, which account for about 11% of China’s economy. The province accounted for 23% of China’s shipments in 2021. 

Bloomberg Economics warns that a prolonged lockdown in Shenzhen could unleash supply chain disruptions worldwide. 

“The forceful action to contain the worst COVID-19 outbreak since early March will deal a direct hit to the production and consumption sides of a province that accounts for 11% of GDP. Previous steps to contain virus flareups left manufacturing unscathed for the most part. This lockdown will hit output in key industries such as tech and machinery that feed into global supply chains,” Chang Shu, chief economist for Asia, said. 

“Given that China is a major global manufacturing hub and one of the most important links in global supply chains, the country’s Covid policy can have notable spillovers to its trading partners’ activity and the global economy,” said Tuuli McCully, head of Asia-Pacific economics at Scotiabank.

According to Stephanie Loomis, vice president of International Procurement, the global impact of lockdowns could roil supply chains once more. 

“If they don’t let any of these guys go to factories and produce goods, then nothing will move,” Loomis said. “It’ll just stop.”

We expect factory shutdowns will spread if the virus isn’t contained and could have massive implications on the global supply chain if lockdowns persist for the next several weeks. It’s still debatable whether the factory shutdowns will impact the US. If so, it usually has a 6-8 week lag. 

We question if container ships will limit delivering Chinese goods to the US because of factory shutdowns as the demand to ship sinks. This may lead to depressed shipping rates on an intermediate basis because of the lack of demand. However, long term, shipping rates should rebound due to a backlog of products that would need to be shipped once factories reopen.  

“The outbreaks impose downside risk to China’s economy at least in the next few months,” Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, said. 

“A China slowdown would exacerbate the risk of stagflation and global supply chain problems,” said Zhang. 

And when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier for the global economy, they certainly did and risked further economic turmoil that may roil global supply chains, just like what happened in the early days of the pandemic. 

(source)

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For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all )is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

For those of us who persevere and do what Jesus says to do, we have this to look forward to in eternity: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV

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