Two weeks since Russia began Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II, businesses across the continent are already in varying stages of despair at the consequences on livelihoods.
A crisis of human suffering in Ukraine, whose wider economic impact prompted European Central Bank officials to quicken their withdrawal from stimulus this week, is affecting prosperity from the farmlands of Spain to the eurozone’s manufacturing core in Germany and France.
Surging energy costs are the central complaint, though disrupted supply chains, sanctions and worries about a looming demand drop are also weighing on enterprises. The abrupt shock of war nearby, combined with broad effects and an uncertain duration, will pile pressure on governments to cushion the blow as well as testing their resolve to confront Russia.
The root of the difficulty is the European Union’s reliance on Ukraine for over half its supply of corn, a key source of feed for…