SOUTH AMERICA (South America is predicted to see zero or negative GDP growth for 2020):
The South American construction sector has been hard hit by the pandemic & it could take at least 3 months until some relief is seen. The South American construction sector is dealing with the consequence of COVID-19 and is currently moving to deal with the response effort, some counties never ended ongoing construction activity and others to some extent fully closed down.
Brazil is suffering very high COVID-19 infection rates (more than three million) as we move into the 4th Q of 2020. South America has numerous unsafe population centers that could see widespread increases of the virus in the coming weeks & months. Peru, Ecuador, Guyana, Uruguay, Venezuela & Paraguay have been hard hit by the pandemic. In Brazil, construction work for the most part did not stop, however each region dealt with the crisis in different ways.
COVID-19’s impact on South America is expected to be worse than the 2008 economic / financial crisis. More than 40% of the population of South America live in extreme poverty and have limited access to medical assistance.
South America is not out of the woods yet, it has numerous unsafe cities and towns that will see the widespread confirmed cases COVID-19 virus in the coming months. Look for South America’s construction sector to struggle for the remainder of 2020. The COVID-19 virus will reduce future CAPEX spending for the foreseeable future, conceivably going into 2021 and beyond. Many countries in South America lack intensive care units / isolation wards or adequate numbers of trained specialist healthcare workers & advanced medical equipment & supplies to fight off the pandemic.
The jury is still out on the global economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, possibly six months from now we will have a clearer understanding of how we get past this event & how it impacts the construction sectors of all the South American countries.