COVID-19 outbreak could cost global economy up to USD 2 trillion

The coronavirus outbreak could cost the global economy up to USD 2 trillion in 2020, the UN's trade and development agency said, warning that shock from the epidemic will cause a recession in some countries and depress global annual growth to below 2.5 per cent.

"We envisage a slowdown in the global economy to under two per cent for 2020, and that will probably cost in the order of USD 1 trillion, compared with what people were forecasting back in September, Director, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Richard Kozul-Wright said.

The UN agency said that apart from the tragic human consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, the economic uncertainty it has sparked will likely cost the global economy USD 1 trillion in 2020.

A preliminary downside scenario sees a USD 2 trillion shortfall in global income with a USD 220 billion hit to developing countries (excluding China).

The most badly affected economies in this scenario will be oil-exporting countries, but also other commodity exporters, which stand to lose more than one percentage point of growth, as well as those with strong trade linkages to the initially shocked economies.

Growth decelerations between 0.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent are likely to occur in countries such as Canada, Mexico and the Central American region, in the Americas; countries deeply inserted in the global value chains of East and South Asia, and countries in the immediacy of the European Union.