Thursday, 16 April 2020

Markets fall as global economy faces “worst recession since the Great Depression”

Markets fell on Wednesday. The S&P 500 fell 2.2 percent and the STOXX Europe 600 tumbled 3.2 percent.

Earlier in Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6 percent.

US economic data released on Wednesday indicated a sharp contraction in the economy. Retail sales fell 8.7 percent in March and industrial production fell 5.4 percent.

Lydia Boussour, senior US economist at Oxford Economics, said this is “just the beginning of the consumer pullback” while Jason Thomas, chief economist at AssetMark, said that “April is much worse”.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund had said it is “very likely that this year the global economy will experience its worst recession since the Great Depression, surpassing that seen during the global financial crisis a decade ago”.

The US COVID-19 death toll surpassed 30,000 on Wednesday but President Donald Trump said that the country has “passed the peak” of the outbreak.

“While we must remain vigilant, it is clear that our aggressive strategy is working,” Trump said at a White House news briefing on Wednesday.

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