The McKinsey Week in Charts

Pandemic now an ‘also-ran’ in economic worries

Inflation and supply-chain disruptions have overtaken the COVID-19 pandemic itself as the biggest potential hindrance to domestic and corporate growth, according to executives in the latest McKinsey Global Survey. Only a quarter of respondents now say the pandemic is the most significant risk to domestic growth in their countries, compared with half who did so in September 2021.

To read the survey, see “The coronavirus effect on global economic sentiment,” October 29, 2021.


In semiconductors, the strong are getting stronger

Microchip makers leading the industry widened the profit gap between themselves and laggards to a staggering 400 % over the past two decades. These companies were able to take advantage of their scale and diverse customer bases and grab large shares of the industry’s profits.

To read the article, see “Value creation: How can the semiconductor industry keep outperforming?,” October 15, 2021.



Powering down emissions

If the US is to meet its stated goal of decarbonizing the power sector, two things would have to happen. The mix of fuels used in power plants would need to shift away from coal and gas and toward renewables. And the sector would have to produce much more power, as other industries such as transportation go electric.

To read the article, see “Net zero by 2035: A pathway to rapidly decarbonize the US power system,” October 14, 2021.


Hedgehogs 1, Foxes 0

As a wise man once said, foxes know many things, but hedgehogs know one big thing. It’s a useful construct to explain what’s happening in cloud computing. Vertical applications (which specialise in an industry) are attracting more business in more sectors than horizontal applications (which are designed to work across industries).

To read the article, see “Cloud-migration opportunity: Business value grows, but missteps abound,” October 12, 2021.


Not sustainable, not inclusive

US wages have flatlined since 1979; labor’s share of national income has also declined. Meantime economic productivity has risen steadily. The two measures, which were tightly connected decades ago, are now on different tracks.

To read the article, see “A sustainable, inclusive, and growing future for the United States,” November 8, 2021.


The medtech marketing future will be digitised

Like many industries, medtech companies shifted to omnichannel strategies as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some marketing methods are more popular than others: while just over half of European medtech businesses launched products via online conferences, more than three-fourths of US companies were willing to go this route.

To read the article, see “The rise of digital marketing in medtechs,” September 24, 2021.