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Aug 18, 2022

Economy performs better than expected during Covid-19 pandemic, says new research

Supply chain disruption among new concerns for the future

A clear majority of both IR professionals and investors believe the economy has performed better than they anticipated at the beginning of the pandemic, according to latest research by IR Magazine.

The latest Covid-19 Update report shows more than six in 10 IROs and investors view the economy as having performed better than they considered it would at the onset of the pandemic. While this figure is down from the seven in 10 who believed last year that the 2021 economy was performing better than expected, it still represents a clear majority compared to the 23 percent who actively disagree with this view.

Research was conducted as part of IR Magazine’s third annual study into the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fieldwork for the study took place among IROs and members of the investment community in May 2022.

Overall, the investment community has a slightly more positive view than IROs, with 64 percent of investors seeing the economy as healthier than anticipated compared to just under six in 10 IROs who share this view. This includes over a quarter of investors who strongly agree the economy has performed better than expected.

Views of the relative economic strength during the pandemic are more negative in Asia. While over seven in 10 European and North American survey respondents think the economy has performed better in this time, a minority of 47 percent in Asia agree with 36 percent actively disagreeing.

While many investors and IROs may have been pleasantly surprised that the pandemic economy was not as bad as they initially feared it could be, there is also concern about the after effects to the economy. An overwhelming 84 percent believe that the measures taken to combat Covid-19 will have a lasting macroeconomic effect.

Supply chain disruption, war in Ukraine, cost of living

Concern has quickly moved on from the pandemic. In the six months leading up to May 2022 IROs received more questions from investors about supply chain issues than they did about Covid-19. More than a third of IROs mentioned supply chain disruption as the most frequently asked topic, with a further 31 percent stating it as the second most frequent.

And when investors were asked in May 2022 what they considered to be the greatest macroeconomic risks to their investments, cost of living increase, supply-chain disruption and the war in Ukraine all came ahead of Covid-19. Just under four in 10 investors identified increases to the cost of living as the greatest risk to their investments while supply chain disruption was mentioned as the greatest risk by a little over three in 10.

The risk posed by Covid-19 now appears much smaller in relation to these issues. Covid-19 is seen as the greatest macroeconomic risk to their holdings by just eight percent of investors, with only 17 percent considering it to be in the top two risks.

IR Magazine’s Covid-19 report update is available to IR Magazine Essentials subscribers. Click here to download the report.