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Coronavirus: No specific measures in the draft G7 press release

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — G7 countries will express their determination to limit the economic impact of the new coronavirus epidemic in a statement to be released on Tuesday but will not go so far as to advocate a budgetary effort or coordinated rate cuts of interest, said two officials from this group of countries.

As the spread of this disease that started in China in December fueled fears of a sharp global economic slowdown or even a recession, G7 finance ministers and central bank governors are attending a conference at 12:00 p.m. GMT dedicated to this health crisis and will issue a press release after their discussions.

In this statement, the G7 countries will commit to working together to mitigate the economic consequences of the epidemic, said an official of the group.

Another source in the G7 said that these economic powers will express their determination to implement, if necessary, coordinated action to limit the impact of the coronavirus on the world economy.

According to these two sources, the G7 countries will, however, refrain from calling directly for immediate and concrete fiscal and monetary measures.

“We are still at the very beginning of the epidemic. And it is not yet possible to predict the evolution of the epidemic. So the general impression is that it is still too early for such an initiative”, said the second source.

The coronavirus that appeared in December in China has spread to 77 other countries and territories. It has infected more than 90,000 people worldwide and killed 2,943 in China and more than 75 elsewhere.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Monday that the BoJ would take the necessary steps to stabilize the markets shaken by this global health crisis. These comments, which echoed those made Friday by the president of the Federal Reserve (Fed) Jerome Powell, fueled speculations on a possible coordinated intervention of the big central banks.

The European Union is also considering measures to protect its economy from the fallout from the new coronavirus, several of its leaders said on Monday as the number of new cases and deaths linked to the virus continues to increase.

French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said that the impact of the epidemic on the growth of the French economy would be “much more significant” than his first estimate, and also reiterated that the government stood ready to take all necessary support measures to help businesses cope.

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