Monday, 30th October 2017

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Coronavirus outbreak: OECD warns of painful recovery

Angel Gurría, the OECD secretary-general, said the economic shock was already bigger than the financial crisis

By AFP in London
  • Published 24.03.20, 1:05 AM
  • Updated 24.03.20, 1:05 AM
  • a min read
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Angel Gurría Wikipedia

The world will take years to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned.

Angel Gurría, the OECD secretary-general, said the economic shock was already bigger than the financial crisis.

He told the BBC it was “wishful thinking” to believe that countries would bounce back quickly.

The OECD has called on governments to rip up spending rules to ensure speedy testing and treatment of the virus. Gurría said a recent warning that a serious outbreak could halve global growth to 1.5 per cent already too optimistic.

Governments scrambling to defend their own economies against the coronavirus pandemic are being urged to coordinate to ward off a long-term global recession and future waves of infections.

The head of the OECD group of advanced economies said the coordination ought to exceed both the 1930s New Deal and the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe after World War II.

A global recession looks “increasingly likely” in the first half of this year, “and we must act now to avoid a protracted recession”, said Gurría.

“Only a sizeable, credible, internationally coordinated effort can deal with the immediate public health emergency, buffer the economic shock and develop a path towards recovery,” he said in a weekend statement.

On the economic front, Gurría said authorities should address areas as direct cash help for the self-employed, who in some countries are not receiving the help being offered to those in full-time or salaried jobs.

The OECD chief said governments should also extend aid to small and medium-sized companies, especially in services and tourism.