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Source: RepTrak, 2020 Global Trends Report

Reputation Management Is More Important Than Ever for Companies

Corporate leaders worldwide acknowledge that delivering on a brand promise that transcends products and services is the most important task this year, according to RepTrak’s annual Global Trends in Reputation report.

The survey was conducted in Q4 2019, emphasizing that corporate trends were shifting toward greater external reputation management prior to the coronavirus crisis. Now, that focus is being validated and, indeed, tested for companies worldwide, with heightened public scrutiny on how major corporations are responding to COVID-19 and the ensuing economic hardship.

Respondents identified developing a “higher purpose — i.e., instilling values in day-to-day practices that go beyond marketing slogans” — as their number one priority. This reflects public attitudes, which show that consumers are increasingly measuring brands by their ethical positions and the proactive social engagement of CEOs.

World Bank: Coronavirus Exacerbating Poverty in Southeast Asia

Source: World Bank, East Asia and Pacific in the Time of COVID-19

As many as 24 million fewer people will escape poverty in Southeast Asia this year as a result of the unprecedented economic shocks caused by the coronavirus. And that’s only the baseline estimate from the World Bank’s latest report on the region; its worst-case scenario has the number of impoverished people in East Asia and the Pacific rising by 11 million.

The impact varies per sector, with households reliant on the manufacturing sector for income to be hit the hardest. “Poverty rates could double among households in Vietnam linked to manufacturing reliant on imported inputs and in some Pacific Islands where tourism is an important source of employment,” the report reads.

The report points to the effective containment measures in Singapore and South Korea — which limited the economic disruptions from the crisis — as role models for other Asian countries to follow. “The sooner other countries create such containment capacity, the sooner they can end the economic pain caused by stringent suppression measures.”

COVID-Hit Auto Industry to See Up to 30% Drop in Car Sales

Source: Oliver Wyman, Car Demand in Times of COVID-19

Global car sales will drop between 15-30% in 2020, as the automobile industry grapples with the economic fallout from the coronavirus. 

Car manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe have temporarily suspended production due to the pandemic, and with social distancing measures likely to remain in place until summer, sales are unlikely to rebound anytime soon. Consumers have already indicated they’re holding off on big purchases, such as vehicles, until the coronavirus threat subsides. 

The double-digit drop in global car sales comes as the world enters a recession due to the coronavirus, with deep economic pain ahead before any expected recovery. The paralysis in consumer spending caused by stay-at-home measures has effectively ground the global economy to a halt. Automakers haven’t received the financial support from Congress they were seeking, but according to The Detroit News, they “will be able to qualify for loans that can become grants if they demonstrate they used the money for operations expenses.”

Consumers Are Delaying Big Purchases Until Coronavirus Subsides

Source: GlobalWebIndex

Global households are primarily concerned with COVID-19’s impact on their nation’s economy more than their personal finances, the latest survey results from GlobalWebIndex show.

But in a blowback to consumer spending, a significant portion — almost 40% of respondents — say they’ll be withholding on major purchases, including travel and appliances, until the threat of the coronavirus subsides in their country. And roughly 20% say they’ll wait until the pandemic subsides globally before taking out their wallet.

Conservative public attitudes toward spending come as much of the world imposes movement restrictions and social distancing to combat the disease, forcing many retail businesses and transportation services to suspend activity. The paralysis in consumer and business activity is expected to last for at least two months as governments across the world forecast a 60-day social distancing period to flatten the curve.

Coronavirus Crisis: New York, LA, Detroit See Double-Digit Drops in Hiring

Source: LinkedIn, Workforce Report April 2020

New York City, Los Angeles and Detroit have seen the steepest falls in hiring out of all major U.S. cities due to the coronavirus, according to a new LinkedIn report

Out of the 20 cities tracked, these three saw double-digit drops in March, while other cities reported limited declines — an ominous warning that the worst is still to come for cities where coronavirus is not as widespread.

Overall, job hiring is 1.1% lower year over year, which is the largest drop in LinkedIn’s hiring rate since January 2017. The industries most hit are Recreation and Travel (-22.2% MoM), Wellness and Fitness (-20.9% MoM) and Nonprofits (-20.6%MoM). 

March was the first complete month that captured how the job market has been affected by COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that a staggering 6,648,000 unemployment claims were filed — doubling the record set a week earlier of 3,307,000 claims filed.

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