Virus pummels global economy, jobs – even without 2nd wave

A man adjusts a protective mask to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus as he walks in the shade of a building Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Tokyo. Hot weather continues in the metropolitan area as the temperature may rise to about 31 degrees Celsius (about 87.9 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Japan's meteorological bureau.
Workers wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the new coronavirus stage a rally against the government's labor policy in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
Virus_Outbreak_Indonesia_40534 A waiter wearing protective face shield to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus delivers dishes to customers at a seafood restaurant on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. As Indonesia's overall virus caseload continues to rise, Jakarta has moved to restore normalcy by lifting some restrictions this week, saying that the spread of the virus in the city of 11 million has slowed after peaking in mid-April.
Traffic police officers wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the new coronavirus take a rest while workers stage a rally against the government's labor policy in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
APTOPIX_Virus_Outbreak_South_Korea_Daily_Life_13448 Workers wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the new coronavirus stage a rally against the government's labor policy in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
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PARIS (AP) — The virus crisis has triggered the worst global recession in nearly a century — and the pain is not over yet even if there is no second wave of infections, an international economic report warned Wednesday.

Hundreds of millions of people have lost their jobs, and the crisis is hitting the poor and young people the hardest, worsening inequalities, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its latest analysis of global economic data.

“It is probably the most uncertain and dramatic outlook since the creation of the OECD,” Secretary General Angel Gurria said. “We cannot make projections as as we normally do.”

In the best-case scenario, if there is no second wave of infections, the agency forecast a global drop in economic output of 6% this year, and a rise of 2.8% next year.

If the coronavirus re-emerges later in the year, however, the global economy could shrink 7.6%, the OECD said.

“With or without a second outbreak, the consequences will be severe and long-lasting,” the report says.

Global stock markets dropped after the release of the report, which is more downbeat than other forecasts from the likes of the World Bank.

Gurria argued that “presenting the problem as the choice between lives and livelihoods, meaning a choice between health and the economy, is a false dilemma. If the pandemic is not brought under control, there will be no robust economic recovery.”

In case of a second wave of contagions, the OECD forecast that the average unemployment rate across the 37 developed countries that it represents would double this year to 10% and see “little recovery” in 2021. In the more optimistic scenario, the figure would be 9.2%. In poorer countries, the numbers are often higher, and informal workers are especially vulnerable.

The agency urged governments to tackle inequalities by investing in health care systems, global cooperation on medical supplies, vaccine and treatments and retraining people whose sectors are the hardest-hit.

The virus has infected 7.2 million people worldwide and killed at least 411,000, according to official figures tallied by Johns Hopkins University. The true toll is believed to be much higher.

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Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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