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Coronavirus and global shifts: Reversal of some demand trends

22-04-2020, 09:40   469

The coronavirus pandemic and the countries’ responses to its spread have taken the world to the point where it is quite clear there can be no return to the world as it had been. While being in the middle of the crisis may lead us to exaggerate certain issues, the sheer scale of government intervention means that some of the changes we witness occurring, will be irreversible. Let us take a look and emphasize some trends which may be with us for a long time. 

It has been very fashionable to diagnose a shift to “sharing economy” where people will no longer be interested in owning houses, cars and other expensive goods as the younger (or “millennial”) generation puts a much larger relative value on impressions and self-development. This pandemic, however, may trigger a lot of people to rethink their attitudes, particularly if the quarantine restrictions linger on for many months. People forced to spend most of the time within the confines of small apartments, will likely think about owning a detached house which can be more physically and psychologically comfortable in situations like this one. Owning a car also proved in asset in the current conditions when public transport is either stopped outrightly or strongly recommended against. While travelling will most likely get much more expensive, and online work will become a mainstream practice, an incentive to return to the lifestyle closer to the “boomer generation” may be huge. Quite ironically, this will run against the green trend epitomized by Greta Thunberg - a demand for fuel in this scenario will definitely rise again, and so-called “modern” values, as opposed to “postmodern” ones, may experience a revival.