New online index shows business concerns over COVID-19 | University of Oxford
Working from home
Credit: Shutterstock

New online index shows business concerns over COVID-19

Business in every sector is becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of COVID-19, according to the CoRisk-Index, a new online tool from the University of Oxford. The Index is the first economic indicator of industry-specific risk assessments related to the pandemic.

Preliminary findings suggest sectors, such as manufacturing and retail, report strong exposure to supply and demand shocks early on in the crisis, while services sectors, such as finance, only recently started to report COVID-related risks. 

The index is a real-time measure of industry risk assessments. It has been established by a group of Oxford and Berlin-based internet researchers, who have a strong focus on digital platforms. These include Fabian Stephany, from the Oxford Internet Institute, and Fabian Braesemann, from Oxford’s from Saïd Business School.

In light of the extremely volatile development of the crisis, policy makers urgently require up-to-date empirical information about the economic situation

According to the first author, Dr Stephany, ‘In light of the extremely volatile development of the crisis, policy makers urgently require up-to-date empirical information about the economic situation.’

Meanwhile, corresponding author, Dr Braesemann, says, ‘Manufacturers initially warned of travel and supply-chain issues related to the virus in China, but by March manufacturers were reporting domestic production issues.’

Data has been mined to create the index from the risk reports to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the researchers hope to extend this to other data sources in the future. It can be assumed that many of the findings presented in the index hold for the US and other high-income countries, in particular:

  • Firms in manufacturing were the first to be worried about the pandemic, due to travel and supply chain related issues in relation to the lockdown in China
  • Retail is reporting most substantial risks because of the immense demand shock and the lockdown.
  • Service sectors, such as finance or information & communication report lower risks, most likely, because they can continue business operation with remote working options.

See the index here

See a blog from the researchers here