Georgia economy to take big hit over coronavirus shutdown

He says it may be up to us to handle it correctly.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — An economic expert says Georgia will definitely take a financial hit because of the coronavirus, but how the state rebounds, might be on its citizens.

Georgia State University Economic Forecasting Director Dr. Rajeev Dhawan told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas the impact of the virus will depend on if people spend money like they did in the days before the crisis.

Andrew Krock of Duluth talked to Thomas about his family’s spending habits last week.

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“Spending has changed drastically,” Krock said.

Now many more families have taken a similar approach with spending a lot of time at home and little outside spending.

“We've been cooking a lot at home,” Krock said.

“Can the Georgia economy handle this?” Thomas asked Dhawan.

“The Georgia economy is going to take it on the chin,” Dhawan said.

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Dhawan said he’s used to looking at numbers and predicting the economic future, but not with something like the coronavirus pandemic.

“The biggest problem is we don't know when this is going to end and No. 2, when it ends, will people interact with people the way we did before?” Dhawan said.

Dhawan said the longer people are asked to shelter in their homes, the worse it will get.

“If you can't fill up your hotel or can't have people flying in for meetings, then there is the entire multiplier chain of services that take it on the chin,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan told Thomas that the first economic indicators he will look at will come out in the next couple of weeks

But he admits, that could be just the first in a series of obstacles Georgians, and the country, must face.

“The trillion-dollar question is when do we get to interact with each other? Because that's the key to any recovery,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan said the one bright spot in all this is technology. He says the one thing people are spending money on right now is new computers and other devices to keep in touch and work at home.

Here's what you should know if you need to do the same.