Market Insight by Nicolas Pelletier - Lessons from the Covid-19 crisis for investing and the broader economy

Taking a step back from the human dimension of the health crisis, and amid dramatic intervention by governments and central banks to avoid widespread bankruptcies, the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed several key underlying trends. Opinion varies between the need for a complete overhaul of the current economic system, and a return to business as usual, so what are the fundamental profound changes this crisis will bring about? Two key trends appear to be emerging: the global hygiene and healthcare economy, along with an unavoidable disruption in our lifestyles, particularly our relationship with time and space. 

Investing in the hygiene and healthcare economy

The crisis has served as a reminder that hygiene is a key economic, social, cultural and political issue. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) , over 45% of the global population do not have access to efficient hygiene services and more than 40% are unable to wash their hands at home. More than two billion people globally do not have basic sanitation facilities. The food consumed by over half of the world’s population comes from wholesale markets with questionable hygienic conditions, and at least 10% of the global population eat food products irrigated by waste water. In many countries, lockdown measures are impossible to implement, particularly in overpopulated areas, many of which are insalubrious.

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