The economic casualties from China’s coronavirus epidemic are mounting as Asian and European auto plants run short of parts, free-spending Chinese tourists stay home and American companies brace for unpredictable turbulence.
That’s just the start of a financial hangover that is expected to linger for months even if the flulike illness is soon brought under control, economists and supply chain experts say. The Chinese epidemic’s aftereffects will likely cause the global economy to shrink this quarter for the first time since the depths of the 2009 financial crisis, according to Capital Economics in London.
Chinese factories had been scheduled to reopen on Feb. 10 after a Lunar New Year holiday that already had been extended for several days because of the medical scare. But with many workers unable or unwilling to return to employers located in a sprawling quarantine region, the resumption of routine operations in many workplaces has been delayed.