Britain, Eurozone Face 2.0% Recession This Year: S&P

Britain, eurozone face 2.0% recession this year: S&P

The coronavirus pandemic will push Britain and the euro area into recession this year, with their economies expected to shrink by as much as two percent, the international ratings agency S&P Global warned on Thursday

Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Mar, 2020 ) :The coronavirus pandemic will push Britain and the euro area into recession this year, with their economies expected to shrink by as much as two percent, the international ratings agency S&P Global warned on Thursday.

"The eurozone and UK are facing recessions. We now expect GDP (gross domestic product) to fall around 2.0 percent this year due to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic," it wrote in a report.

The spread of COVID-19 has forced three billion people around the world into lockdown and economists say the restrictions could cause the most violent recession in recent history.

Central banks and governments have rolled out a wave of unprecedentedly large fiscal and monetary policy packages to shore up their economies.

To prevent a credit crunch, central banks have injected liquidity and cut rates to lower banks' refinancing costs and have implemented large asset purchase programmes.

S&P said a two-percent recession for Britain and the UK would amount to a loss in real GDP of about 420 billion Euros ($460 billion) in 2020, compared with its previous forecast from November 2019.

"We expect a gradual rebound of at least 3.0 percent in 2021," the agency said.

S&P said that "swift and bold policy responses taken now are key to avoiding permanent losses to GDP later.

" "Risks are still to the downside, as the pandemic might last longer and be more widespread than we currently envisage. For example, we estimate a lockdown of four months could lower eurozone GDP by up to 10 percent this year," it said.

Looking at individual countries, S&P is pencilling in economic contraction of 2.6 percent for Italy, the hardest-hit country by the pandemic, and Spain's economy is expected to shrink by 2.1 percent.

The agency is forecasting a 1.9-percent contraction in GDP for both Germany and Britain and 1.7 percent for France.

On Wednesday, another ratings agency, Moody's, had forecast that the world's 20 most industrialised countries would likely suffer a recession this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It estimated that the G20's overall GDP would contract by 0.5 percent, with the US economy shrinking by 2 percent and the eurozone by 2.2 percent.

China, however, despite suffering an outbreak of the novel coronavirus before everyone else, could see economic activity expand by 3.3 percent, a level that is nonetheless well below average for the world's second biggest economy.

G20 leaders are to hold an online summit Thursday after criticism the group has been slow to address the crisis.

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