Moody’s slashes growth forecasts
Mining News Pro - In November, Moody’s Investors Service forecast G-20 economies in 2020 would grow by 2.6%, but now estimates real GDP will contract by 0.5%, followed by a pick-up to 3.2% in 2021.

According to Mining News Pro - The ratings agency projects “cumulative contraction” over the first and second quarters of 2020 of 5.4% in Germany, 4.5% in Italy, 4.3% in the U.S., 3.9% in the U.K. and 3.5% in France.

“Although supportive fiscal and monetary policy measures will likely aid recoveries with above-trend growth in the subsequent quarters and in 2021, the output loss in the second quarter is unlikely to recover,” Moody’s stated in a research note.

It forecasts real GDP growth in China of 3.3% this year followed by 6% growth next year. (It also estimated that in the first quarter China’s economy contracted by about 10% on a sequential basis.)

“Slow improvement in consumer demand will temper the pace of China’s recovery,” it stated. “In other emerging market countries, a sharp reduction in GDP in the second quarter is also inevitable, especially where strict containment measures have been imposed.”

“The severe compression in demand over the next two to four months will likely be unprecedented, as China’s data for the months of January and February reveal,” the ratings agency noted. “Also, as expected, purchasing managers’ index indicators for the euro area confirm a sharp contraction is already underway.”

Moody’s also offered forecasts for other nations, and said it expects Turkey’s economy to be hardest hit, “with a cumulative contraction in second- and third-quarter GDP of about 7%.”

It also is forecasting contractions in the first six months of this year of 5.2% in Mexico and 3.5% in Brazil. (Full year estimate is for contractions of about 3.7% in Mexico and 1.6% in Brazil.)

“Mexico’s exposure to the U.S. economy, and the weak policy response from the Mexican government make it particularly vulnerable,” Moody’s wrote. “A sharp reduction in tourism, which represents about 16% of Mexico’s GDP, is an additional source of vulnerability.”

For South Africa, Moody’s estimates a 2.5% contraction this year followed by 1.1% growth next year.

At the end of the day, however, it warns that it is “impossible to accurately estimate the economic toll of the crisis.”