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Coronavirus Shock Could Push Europe Into a Downturn


<b>Coronavirus Shock Could Push Europe Into a Downturn</b>Germany and other countries were already vulnerable. The longer the Chinese economy remains crippled, the bigger the risk to the rest of the world.
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So far, only scattered cases of the coronavirus have appeared in Europe, but the economic effects are proving harder to quarantine. The shock may be severe enough to push the vulnerable German economy, and perhaps the entire eurozone, into a recession. That is the conclusion of a growing number of economists as it becomes clear that it will take weeks, at best, before the Chinese economy resumes its role as a prolific exporter of essential factory goods, and as an increasingly important consumer market for the rest of the world. "The longer it takes for production to resume, the higher the risks," said Jörg Krämer, chief economist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. "We are closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus, which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy," the US Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, told House Financial Services Committee members. Europe now has nearly 40 confirmed cases of the virus across nine countries. 16 cases have been confirmed in Germany, 11 in France and 8 in the UK. There are currently more than 44000 confirmed cases of the infection worldwide, 42670 of whom are in mainland China. The death toll has now risen to more than 1100, with 94 reported deaths on February 11, 2020 alone, according to the website worldometers.info/coronavirus/. The fatality rate of the epidemic is 2%, according to the WHO. China's coronavirus outbreak has triggered an unprecedented clampdown on travel to and from the world's second-largest economy. At least 14 countries and territories, from the U.S. to India and Hong Kong, have now introduced some form of China-related travel restrictions as policy makers try to contain the epidemic. Chinese tourists are the world's biggest spenders, and the world's second largest source of travelers to overseas destinations after the US.

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