Since the COVID-19 outbreak was first diagnosed, it has spread to over 200 countries and all U.S. states. The pandemic is negatively affecting global economic growth beyond anything experienced in nearly a century. Estimates so far indicate the virus could trim global economic growth by 3.0% to 6.0% in 2020, with a partial recovery in 2021, assuming there is not a second wave of infections. The economic fallout from the pandemic raises the risks of a global economic recession with levels of unemployment not experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The human costs in terms of lives lost will permanently affect global economic growth in addition to the cost of rising levels of poverty, lives upended, careers derailed, and increased social unrest. Global trade could also fall by 18%, depending on the depth and extent of the global economic downturn, exacting an especially heavy economic toll on trade-dependent developing and emerging economies. The full impact will not be known until the effects of the pandemic peak. This report provides an overview of the global economic costs to date and the response by governments and international institutions to address these effects.
“Global Economic Effects of COVID-19,” CRS Report R46270, August 31, 2020 (125-page PDF)
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