"The choice between health and the economy is a false dilemma." The OECD said on Wednesday that the coronavirus economic crisis would plunge the world into a recession of at least 6% in 2020, but it also insisted on the need not to sacrifice health on the altar of growth. "If the pandemic is not brought under control, there will be no robust economic recovery," insisted the organisation's secretary general, Angel Gurria.
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Stronger global economic downturn if coronavirus resurfaces
In its outlook, the OECD has created two scenarios: one where the Covid-19 epidemic "remains under control" and the other where it starts again with a second wave. In the first case, world gross domestic product (GDP) will decline in 2020 by 6%, in the second by 7.6%. In any event, the decline is "by far the largest in the past 60 years," he said.
Without the return of the coronavirus, global growth will rebound by 5.2%. But the recovery will only be 2.8% if it starts to circulate again, with what that implies measures of reconfinement or quarantine. The euro area will be particularly affected with a fall in gross domestic product (GDP) expected to 9.1% in the most favorable scenario, and to 11.5% in the event of a second wave in 2020.
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The French economy particularly affected
For its part, France would be one of the most affected economies with Italy and Spain. According to the OECD, our GDP would drop by 11.4% in one year and even 14% in the event of a second wave. By comparison, the United States, the country most affected in terms of both deaths and cases, would see its gross domestic product fall by 7.3% or 8.5% this year, depending on the scenario. For its part, China, the second largest economy in the world after the United States, will also see its economy contract, by 2.6%, or even 3.7% this year if the virus resurfaces massively.
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The opportunity to move towards "more solid growth"?
On the other hand, the OECD has called for the crisis to be the occasion for a transition to "stronger and more sustainable growth". "The goal should not be to return to normal, because normalcy is what brought us to where we are now" recalled Angel Gurria, taking for example the air pollution which kills 4 million people per year and whose it was discovered to "worsen the consequences of Covid-19".