WTO Predicts Coronavirus ‘Economic Impact’ Will Be Worse Than 2008 Recession

The World Trade Organization is now predicting the economic impact of the coronavirus will be worse than that of the recession in 2008.

As the Washington Examiner reports, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo shared the prediction on Wednesday where he said his latest models predict “a very sharp decline in trade.”

Azevedo attributes this decline to the COVID-19 and subsequent efforts to contain it, resulting in companies closing its doors to customers and workers alike.

“This pandemic will inevitably have an enormous impact on the economy,” Azevedo on the WTO’s website, as the Washington Examiner reports. “Recent projections predict an economic downturn and job losses that are worse than the global financial crisis a dozen years ago.”

Azevedo’s prediction may already be evidenced by the historic unemployment insurance claims in the United States as 3.28 million people filed for uninsurance in the week between March 15th and 21st.

The number dwarfed any previous high since the Labor Department began recording data since 1967. The figure specifically beat out any one-week record under the 2008-2009 recession caused by the 2008 housing market crash.

CNBC reports the new figure “shatters the Great Recession peak of 665,000 in March 2009 and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982.”

According to the report, the total number of unemployment insurance claims dwarfed even expert estimates:

The previous week, which reflected the period before the worst of the coronavirus hit, was 282,000, which was higher than expected at the time.

Consensus estimates from economists surveyed by Dow Jones showed an expectation for 1.5 million new claims, though individual forecasts on Wall Street had been anticipating a much higher number. The surge comes amid a crippling slowdown brought on by the coronavirus crisis.


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