A COVID-19 global recession is here, said Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, and the question is now focused on its length and depth, reports Bloomberg.
The bankers and economists from the Wall St investment banks made their prediction a day after US President Donald Trump reportedly is considering as much as US$1 trillion (RM4.3 trillion) stimulus to boost the consumer-driven US economy as activity grinds to a standstill at many restaurants and shops.
US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House is focused on a stimulus that would include sending cheques to Americans within the next two weeks, said AFP.
Morgan Stanley said a worldwide recession is now its “base case” with growth expected to fall to 0.9% this year. Goldman Sachs predicts a weakening of growth to 1.25%. S&P Global said it is expecting growth in the range of 1% to 1.5%.
The data are the latest in the growing body of evidence of the virus’ economic toll but the survey was taken before the outbreak spread across the US and put entire counties on lockdown.
Many economists now expect the US to slip into a recession that will include a sharp slowdown in the second quarter.
Bankers also warn that a 2020 recession will be worse than the downturn of 2001 and Asian financial crisis in 1997.
Stocks rebounded yesterday following Wall Street’s sharpest daily drop in more than three decades as the US and European governments signalled more stimulus measures to address the economic hit from the coronavirus.
A day after shedding almost 3,000 points, the Dow finished up 5.2% or around 1,050 points at 21,237.38.
“The impact of social distancing on consumer spending activity and a knockdown effect on business investment, together with the oil price hit on capital investments in energy infrastructure and expanded travel bans, likely means a -1.0% reading in the first quarter and a large contraction of 6.0% for GDP growth in the second, signalling recession for the US,” said Beth Ann Bovino, US chief economist at S&P Global.
In Europe, both London and Paris closed 2.8% higher. Frankfurt rose 2.3% and Milan 2.2%.
EPF, PNB, KWAP, Khazanah suffer RM56 billion losses
THE Covid-19-led rout in Bursa Malaysia and globally has not spared major institutional funds, such as EPF, PNB, Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) and Khazanah, reports The Edge.
The four funds have lost an estimated RM55.7 billion since the start of year, according to data compiled from Bloomberg.
Employees Provident Fund’s paper loss amounts to RM24.7 billion while Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s Amanah Saham Bumiputera shrank by RM16.52 billion.
Most of the losses come from their holdings in banking stocks, such as Public Bank Bhd, which is now trading at RM13.90, its lowest level since August 2013.
It also lost RM2.06 billion in CIMB and RM1.86 billion in Maybank, the two other banks in which EPF has stakes.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT