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COVID-19 could cost the global economy up to $8.8 trillion, ADB says

Khanh Minh Friday | 05/15/2020 20:18

Workers manufacture products at a factory of Skyworth in Guangzhou, China, February 10, 2020 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

The global economy could suffer between $5.8 trillion and $8.8 trillion in losses, equivalent to 6.4% to 9.7% GDP due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, says the Asian Development Bank.

This is more than double ADB's estimate in April 2020. Economies with domestic outbreaks and strict lockdowns will be hardest hit as domestic demand weakens sharply. 

More open economies, and those that are tourism- or commodity-dependent, will also suffer from the collapse in global demand.

Containing the pandemic is key to reducing the economic cost. Sufficient testing, tracing, and isolation; effective social distancing; and securing protective and medical equipment are all essential elements.

It is also important for the government to support struggling families and businesses to mitigate adverse impacts of the pandemic and to avoid long-term consequences for growth and development.

ADB's analysis finds that government policy responses will soften COVID-19’s global impact by 30% to 40%, reducing losses to $4.1 trillion to $5.4 trillion, or 4.5% to 5.9% of global GDP.

Rapid and effective containment will allow for a faster recovery. For this, adequate testing, tracing, and isolation are key. Then, it is critical to identify industries and occupations in terms of essentiality and economic importance, and their ability to operate safely with adequate social distancing.

Finally, governments should re-open the economy sequentially, balancing health risks and economic considerations, and being ready to tighten if outbreaks reoccur. For all of this, having adequate data and information is key.

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