The coronavirus depression will bring more damage than the last worldwide recession. It is because this time, no country alone is powerful enough to rescue the global economy.
Let us remember the story of the Great Recession. While working to clean up their devastated banking system, Europe and the United States were crippled. Furthermore, the global services sector suffered without its most prominent players, the United States consumer engine. Nevertheless, global economic growth did not entirely fall off a cliff. It is because other countries kept money moving around the planet.
In China, policymakers enacted a massive stimulus. It was to skip over the recession entirely. The country’s gross domestic product raised by 9.4% in 2009. With its GDP growing 7.9% in 2009, India chugged along as if the crisis barely happened.
Nevertheless, this time no concern in the world has been left untouched by the pandemic or its effects. Thus, no country can reasonably chug along. So, no government can keep things from getting genuinely disastrous.
Recently, economists over the IIF (Institute of International Finance) wrote that it was the growth of those two countries that lifted the global economy. Meanwhile, the United States was on its knees. Thus, therefore in 2009, the global gross domestic product fell to -0.4%. Conversely, this year, without their help, the economists forecast that global gross domestic product will drop to -3.8%.
All in all, the high growth countries kept the global economy from free fall. Nevertheless, now it won’t be the case.
To slow the spread of the coronavirus, India is now on its 170th day of lockdown. Moody, a credit rating firm, expects economic growth to fall 11.5%.
The worst of China’s lockdown has passed. Nevertheless, forecasted gross domestic product of around 3.2% for 2020 is quite far away from a decade ago. Moreover, this time China’s policymakers are much more cautious with their stimulus in some part. It is because the government is worried that it might have to institute another lockdown.
Also, policymakers are cautious because China is dealing with a massive debt hangover from 2009. To skip a recession is not cheap. Avoiding the financial crisis, China spent half a trillion dollars. In the following years, it built up an opaque, massive shadow banking system. In the current year, China’s total debt (Household, government, and corporate) raised to 303% of gross domestic product.
The government is pulling some levels it pulled to spurt economic activity during the financial crisis. A good example is the encouragement of infrastructure investment. Nevertheless, the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank, said that it sees no need for additional emergency stimulus in 2020.
With weak demand from India and China, Latin America will sell fewer commodities. The IIF notes that the whole of Asia will slow. Thus, we cannot forecast exceptional growth from there.
The quick and sharp response of Eurozone countries to the pandemic seemed to be a model for the rest of the world. It appeared that it had the potential to salve for the economic chaos. Nevertheless, cases are spiking in countries like France and Spain.