Oct 8, 2020 | 3 min read

Digital Insight Newsletter: October 2020

Poised for an Inflection

As we enter the 4th quarter of 2020, the global economy is emerging from 6 months of prolonged lockdowns, travel and economic restrictions with tenuous signs that the impact of coronavirus is receding. However, concerns of a second wave in the Fall following the warm summer months in the Northern Hemisphere remain as US President Donald Trump and his wife tested positive for the virus, following other leaders of major nations including Justin Trudeau of Canada, Boris Johnson of the UK and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil. The world will be closely watching President Trump’s recovery from the virus as a proxy for the broader pandemic – a quick recovery could imply the virus’ impact is lessening, paving the way for more opening, while more severe symptoms could spur greater caution and extend restrictions on schools, businesses and other public gatherings.

The economic recovery continues to gain ground, though the pace of job recovery is moderating. On the positive side, 3Q GDP is expected to be strong – Goldman Sachs has forecast 32% growth on an annualized basis. The US unemployment rate has dipped below 8%, financial markets have shrugged off recent weakness and volatility, and traffic is returning to the roadways in many locations. Automotive sales are strong, and consumer confidence has returned to the highest levels since February.

However, job losses remain challenging, with only around half of the job cuts due to the pandemic restrictions having been recovered. Additionally, travel, hospitality and entertainment businesses continue to struggle with temporary furloughs set to become permanent layoffs at major airlines including United and American, Disney theme parks and other businesses. Office workers are slow to return, averaging 25% occupancy in many markets but just 10% occupancy in New York City.

Despite the uncertainty, businesses are preparing for growth ahead, and the return of strategic M&A reflects growing confidence. NVIDIA’s proposed acquisition of ARM from SoftBank is one of the largest tech deals to date, and signals growing interest in combining AI with low-power mobile computing. COVID-19 has acted as a digital catalyst, changing consumer and business behavior.   

Digital transformation continues to accelerate, and firms across industries are moving quickly to adopt new processes and business models. Notably, supply chain resilience ranks at the top of priorities. A recent McKinsey study found that over a 10-year period, companies can expect to lose 42% of a year’s EBITDA due to supply chain disruptions – and the COVID-19 pandemic represents the greatest global disruption in generations. With winter coming, there is no better time to ensure supply chains are agile and resilient – and well positioned for the next inflection in growth.  

 

Please join Momenta for a very special webinar that explores how to anticipate disruption, and better prepare your supply chain to be resilient. 

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Momenta is the leading Digital Industry retained Executive Search firm delivering impactful leadership across energy, manufacturing, smart spaces and supply chain. We have placed more than 200 leaders globally in Fortune 100’s and venture-backed startups, including digital leadership roles at Hitachi, United Technologies and C3.ai. Let's connect and discuss how Momenta can help you take your business to the next level.