COVID-19: How will it affect the economy? | Prairie Public Broadcasting

COVID-19: How will it affect the economy?

Mar 13, 2020

A University of North Dakota economist says as the environment becomes more high risk in regard to the circulation of COVID-19, it will translate to volatility within the national and local economies.

David Flynn chairs the Department of Economics at UND. He says this volatility translates to uncertainty within financial markets, shopping behaviors and a lot of decisions being made with less than full information. He says this creates more issues for the public to deal with.

"We're all connected to some extent, and so this is going to raise the possibility of not being able to get ahold of the people you need to get ahold of, or supply chains getting disrupted because of altered work schedules at various different production facilities in different parts of the country."

Flynn says North Dakota's economy is good because it is so diverse, but it's also risky because that means additional exposure to outside influence. He says it may be difficult to know how to proceed over the next one to three months. But he says he isn't ready to predict "doomsday."

"I don't think that this is the downfall of western civilization or even capitalist economies, it's much less than that. But at the same time, it is going to be a painful period for many with lots of adjustments in behaviors, and consumer buying patterns as a result of lots of things going on right now."

Flynn says some businesses will have problems going forward, but government policy should step in to help ease as much pain as they can.