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Coronavirus crisis will burden economy for ‘years to come,’ OECD chief says

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FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2020, file photo the White House is seen in Washington. The coronavirus pandemic and the nation’s crashing economy are scrambling the themes both political parties thought would carry them to victory in this November’s elections. Gone, at least for now, are the hopes of President Donald Trump and Re(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a “major economic crisis that will burden our societies for years to come,” the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Secretary-General Angel Gurria warned.

In an op-ed published over the weekend calling for joint action “to win the war” against the pandemic, Gurria called the COVID-19 health crisis the “greatest economic, financial and social shock of the 21st Century.”

His new statement reverses course from a handful of previous outlooks, which forecasted that the outbreak would cause only a temporary blow to the economy.

As the crisis wages on, Gurria added that the economy will likely not rebound as easily as previously thought.

“This shock brings a double whammy: a halt in production in affected countries, hitting supply chains across the world, and a steep drop in consumption together with a collapse in confidence,” Gurria wrote. “Stringent measures being applied, albeit essential to contain the virus, are thrusting our economies into an unprecedented ‘deep freeze’ state, from which emergence will not be straightforward or automatic.”

Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Jose Angel Gurria speaks at an event, Oct. 24, 2019, in Bogota, Colombia.Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Jose Angel Gurria speaks at an event, Oct. 24, 2019, in Bogota, Colombia.Daniel Munoz/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

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