COVID-19 seriously affects global economy

Let's achieve national prosperity with the spirit of self-reliance and self-development
DPRK post stamp: "Let us break through head-on all the barriers to our advance! Let us achieve national prosperity with the might of self-reliance and self-development!" (Photo KCNA)

By Choe Yong Nam
Pyongyang Times

The rapid spread of COVID-19 over well over 100 countries and regions of the world seriously threatens the lives of people and deals a heavy blow to their economies as well.

According to the report to the UN conference on trade and development published in Geneva on Mar 9, the world economic losses caused by the spread of the new coronavirus will reach about US$ 2 trillion.

The report expected that the global economic growth rate which was estimated to rise by 2.7 percent this year will stay at about 1.7 percent due to the adverse effect of the epidemic.

Economic experts warned that the spread of COVID-19 would drive the weak Italian economy to the fourth worst recession in 12 years.

Japanese tourism is estimated to suffer US$ 1.29 billion income losses in the first quarter of the year.

With the world economic growth rate being expected to decline, the price of Brent crude dropped by about 25 percent as against the beginning of the year as of late February.

The International Energy Agency announced that the global oil demand curve would fall for the first time in the first quarter of the year in over a decade.

Now many countries and experts express great anxiety and apprehension over the negative effect of the rapid spread of the epidemic on the world economy and its consequences.

Russian President Putin said the last week of February became the worst one for the world market since the 2008 economic crisis and referred to the need to find a way to cope with adverse consequences in the economic sector.

Valentina Matvienko, chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council, said the spread of COVID-19 would cause at least one percent fall of the world economic growth rate and it would also affect the Russian economy.

The French economy minister told BFM TV that the current crisis would have a more serious impact on the world economic growth than SARS in 2003.

The Canadian finance minister expressed his concern over its potential negative impact on the country's economy, especially petroleum industry, tourism and commerce.

The price of oil, one of its major exports, has dropped by 15 percent since the outbreak of the disease and it would have harmful effects on the whole country, he said.

Finance ministers and presidents of central banks of G-20 nations published a statement to express their anxiety over the crisis.

A British economic analysis institution estimated that in case COVID-19 develops into a worldwide epidemic, the global GDP would fall by 1.3 percent this year.

(Pyongyang Times - March 25, 2020)

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