Images of empty shelves in grocery stores worldwide have emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, this has had little to do with an actual shortage of food products but rather has reflected the behavior of panicked consumers who are hoarding food. While some earlier publications perceived no imminent threats from the pandemic to global food security, more recent articles called attention to proper policy responses to reduce the potential negative impacts of COVID-19 on local and global food systems and food security.
The annual real GDP growth for 2019 amounted to 5.2%, while the real GDP growth rate reached 5.1% year-on-year for January 2020. Before taking into consideration the negative consequences of COVID-19 on the real GDP growth forecast, ISET-PI predicted 4.7% and 5.4% growth for the first and second quarters of 2020 respectively, based on data from January 2020.
The outbreak of the virus and the corresponding containment measures have started to severely affect the global economy. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in its Interim Economic Outlook Report (2020) on March 2nd downgraded 2020 real GDP growth projections for almost every country. The largest reduction in growth projections is seen for China (-0.8 percentage points) with a worldwide real GDP growth rate expected to decline from 2.9% (November 2019 forecast) to 2.4%.
As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread around the world and has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, the next global economic recession is no longer an “if” or even a “when” event. Unfortunately, it is already upon us. In just the past few days.