Economic Fallout from Coronavirus begins across developing world

Aruba, June 1, 2020 – Brazil’s economy shrank during the first three months of this year. Turkey’s economy slowed, and India’s yearly output posted its slowest growth in 11 years.

Economic results released on Friday in all three countries highlight the struggles of many developing-world economies even before the coronavirus pandemic caused governments to order lockdowns in late March that have since cost hundreds of millions their jobs.

Economic output in Brazil, Latin America’s biggest country, shrank 1.5% in the first quarter compared with the last three months of 2019, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics said Friday. It fell 0.3% compared with the first quarter of 2019.

In India, the economy mustered 3.1% growth from January to March compared with the year-ago period. For its fiscal year ended March 31, the economy grew at its weakest rate in 11 years, 4.2%.

Turkey’s output rose 0.6% compared with the last quarter of 2019, and 4.5% compared with the same period of last year, according to data released by the national statistics agency on Friday.

But growth in India and Turkey during the first months of this year shouldn’t be mistaken for resilience in the face of the pandemic, economists said. Since lockdown measures only came in the last week of March, the impact of the pandemic won’t turn up until the second quarter figures are released.

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