Coronavirus: Global growth ‘could halve’ if outbreak intensifies

Aruba, March 16, 2020 – The global economy could grow at its slowest rate since 2009 this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has warned.

The influential think tank has forecast growth of just 2.4% in 2020, down from 2.9% in November.

But it said a longer “more intensive” outbreak could halve growth to 1.5%.

It came after the Bank of England vowed to help stabilise markets, which suffered steep losses last week.

Coronavirus is already forcing businesses to suspend operations in China and elsewhere as officials try to contain its spread.

The OECD forecast the global economy could recover to 3.3% growth in 2021, assuming the epidemic peaked in China in the first quarter of this year and other outbreaks proved mild and contained.

But it said the picture would be much worse if the virus spread throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

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