10.06.2020

World Bank: COVID-19 leads to worst recession since World War II

Per capita incomes to shrink in all regions, according to June 2020 Global Economic Prospects report.

The swift and massive shock of the coronavirus pandemic and shutdown measures to contain it have plunged the global economy into a severe contraction. According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% this year. That would represent the deepest recession since the Second World War, with the largest fraction of economies experiencing declines in per capita output since 1870, the World Bank says in its June 2020 Global Economic Prospects.

Economic activity among advanced economies is anticipated to shrink 7% in 2020 as domestic demand and supply, trade, and finance have been severely disrupted. Emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are expected to shrink by 2.5% this year, their first contraction as a group in at least sixty years. Per capita incomes are expected to decline by 3.6%, which will tip millions of people into extreme poverty this year.

The blow is hitting hardest in countries where the pandemic has been the most severe and where there is heavy reliance on global trade, tourism, commodity exports, and external financing. While the magnitude of disruption will vary from region to region, all EMDEs have vulnerabilities that are magnified by external shocks. Moreover, interruptions in schooling and primary healthcare access are likely to have lasting impacts on human capital development.

Regional Outlooks

East Asia and Pacific: Growth in the region is projected to fall to 0.5% in 2020, the lowest rate since 1967, reflecting disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Europe and Central Asia: The regional economy is forecast to contract by 4.7%, with recessions in nearly all countries.

Latin America and the Caribbean: The shocks stemming from the pandemic will cause regional economic activity to plunge by 7.2% in 2020.

Middle East and North Africa: Economic activity in the Middle East and North Africa is forecast to contract 4.2% as a result of the pandemic and oil market developments.

South Asia: Economic activity in the region is projected to contract by 2.7% in 2020 as pandemic mitigation measures hinder consumption and services activity and as uncertainty about the course of the pandemic chills private investment.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Economic activity in the region is on course to contract by 2.8% in 2020, the deepest on record.

Read the full report