Conflict and war have a serious impact on the economy. In war, buildings and infrastructure are destroyed, inflation and debt rise and normal economic growth is disrupted. Although there may be some positive economic impacts – such as increased demand and profits – these benefits come with an opportunity cost of what could've been accomplished instead.
Even wars that are fought in other countries affect the U.S. economy. We can see this currently in the increase in gas prices that has resulted from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Some of the most significant consequences of war, conflict and uncertainty on the U.S. economy include:
Geopolitical conflict often drives up the price of oil and natural gas, particularly if it occurs in countries that are major producers of these energy sources. Increased gas and oil prices are reflected in the prices of everything that relies on shipping for transport, which includes products in almost every industry.
Conflict can further increase the price of commodities and halt economic growth during wartime by interrupting supply chains. The U.S. economy is global, so increased gas prices and disrupted supply chains in one area lead to increased prices all over the world.
When people are uncertain about the future and the economy, they tend to spend less, especially on things they don't need. Some industries thrive regardless of the economy, but most are harmed by decreased consumer confidence caused by economic uncertainty. The U.S. economy is still feeling the effects of COVID-19, and foreign conflicts may add to this pressure.
The U.S. doesn't likely face a physical threat from Russia, but President Biden has warned that cyber-attacks may be coming. The pandemic accelerated the world's digital-first transformation, but the threat of a cyber-attack can make people lose confidence in digital infrastructure cybersecurity.
The stock market has already taken a hit from inflation, rising gas prices, and foreign conflicts. The energy and commodity markets are global, so fluctuations are happening worldwide. Although the U.S. stock market is domestic, drops in these global markets can have a ripple effect that brings the stock market down as well.
Furthermore, supply constraints limit growth regardless of other economic incentives. So, anything that negatively affects supply chains will likewise impact the stock market.
The economy may be in for a slightly bumpy ride in the near future, but economies follow cyclical patterns. Now is the ideal time for people to start career training programs with a trusted school like MedCerts. Training programs in fields that thrive even in economic downturns – such as healthcare and information technology (IT) – are an excellent way to invest your time during such uncertainty.
Most people don't see healthcare spending as optional. Even during recessions, people need to visit clinicians, dentists and pharmacies. Healthcare workers rarely have to worry about losing their jobs due to decreased demand.
Similarly, IT workers will continue to be in demand. The growing shortage of skilled tech workers isn't likely to shrink during a recession. Demand for IT professionals, particularly cybersecurity professionals, will continue to grow. MedCerts provides training – and training funds – for the type of growing, in-demand careers that will continue to be stable no matter what the economy brings.