Global economic toll of coronavirus pandemic could hit $8.8tr – ADB

Pearl Bantillo

15-May-2020

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The global economic toll of the novel coronavirus pandemic could hit as high as $8.8tr, which represents about 10% of world GDP, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said, as countries adopted prolonged lockdowns to contain the spread of the deadly flu-like disease.

The low end of the range is $5.8tr, much higher than the initial $2.0tr to 4.1tr loss the multilateral institution estimated in early April.

For Asia and the Pacific, the economic loss is estimated to range from $1.7tr under a short containment scenario of three months, to $2.5tr under a long containment scenario of six months, the Manila-headquartered ADB said in its Updated Assessment of the Potential Economic Impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) report.

China, the world’s second-biggest economy and Asia’s largest, could suffer losses of between $1.1tr to 1.6tr.

The coronavirus outbreak started in the Chinese central city of Wuhan late last year and has since spread globally.

The global tally of infections exceeds 4m people, with about 300,000 deaths to date, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Fiscal and monetary easing measures adopted so far, if sustained, could soften the economic impact of the pandemic “by as much as 30-40%”, it said.

Border closures, travel restrictions and lockdowns implemented by outbreak-affected economic will likely cut global trade by $1.7tr to $2.6tr.

Global job losses are estimated to between 158m to 242m, with Asia and the Pacific accounting for 70% of the employment losses, ADB said.

Labor income around the world will decline by $1.2tr to $1.8tr, 30% of which will be felt by economies in the Asia and the Pacific region, it said.

Source: ADB

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