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Coronavirus could create $211bn Asia Pacific loss, says S&P Global Ratings

By Ramla Soni

Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Thailand 'will enter or flirt with recession' due to the virus, according to the ratings company

The coronavirus crisis could cause a loss of $211bn (£162bn, €186bn) from economies across Asia Pacific, according to report from S&P Global Ratings.

Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Thailand “will enter or flirt with recession,” the ratings company said. It also trimmed its growth forecast for China from 5.7 per cent for 2020, to 4.8 per cent.

There are now at least 95,270 confirmed coronavirus cases and 3,280 deaths worldwide, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organisation. It said that this epidemic “can be pushed back, but only with a collective, coordinated and comprehensive approach that engages the entire machinery of government”.

Outside China, the countries most affected by the outbreak are South Korea, Italy and Iran. However, although a few countries are reporting large numbers of cases, 115 countries have not reported any cases and 21 countries have reported only one case so far.

“The wider global spread of Covid-19 will prolong the economic fallout in Asia-Pacific. The loss will be distributed across households, firms, banks, and governments, S&P Global said.

The hardest-hit economies will be Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, where tourism accounts for the majority of GDP, almost 10 per cent on average, the report said. Tourists from China account for a large share of visitors in those countries, S&P Global added.

At the same time, airlines could lose up to $113bn in revenue this year. This is the most since the financial crisis, if the disease continues to spread, the International Air Transport Association warned.

However, economies could bounce back by the end of 2021 if signs emerge by the second quarter of this year that the virus is contained worldwide, S&P Global said.

FURTHER READING: Covid-19 update: IMF makes $50bn available to fight the outbreak, while Flybe collapses

FURTHER READING: Healthcare company Novacyt launches new coronavirus test

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