G20 growth was sluggish prior to Covid-19

By James Langton | March 12, 2020 | Last updated on March 12, 2020
1 min read
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Economic growth in the G20 was already slowing in advance of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to new data from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The OECD reported that GDP growth in the G20 economies came in at 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019, down from 0.8% in the previous quarter.

“Prior to the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus in the first quarter of 2020, growth of real GDP in the G20 area had already started to slow,” the OECD said.

For 2019, real GDP growth in the G20 slowed to 2.9% from 3.7% in 2018, the group noted.

In the fourth quarter, GDP declined sharply — by 1.8% — in Japan, following an increase in consumption taxes.

Growth also contracted in South Africa, Italy, France and Mexico.

The OECD said that GDP growth slowed significantly in various other countries, including Canada, which saw growth ease to 0.1%, down from 0.3%.

The U.K.’s growth fell to zero from 0.5% in the previous quarter.

A handful of countries saw growth pick up in Q4, including Turkey and South Korea.

Growth in China edged up to 1.5% from 1.4%, the OEC noted. Growth was stable in the U.S., India and Indonesia.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for Advisor.ca and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.