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The Debate

COVID-19 uncertainty: A virus-weakened global economy

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24

It's been a dramatic 48 hours. The Italian government announced on Sunday that more than 15 million people in the industrial heartland of the country were being quarantined for a period of four weeks. It came as the death toll from the coronavirus in Italy shot up to the highest level outside of mainland China. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte argues that these drastic measures are a bitter pill for the country's economy in the short term, but that this will spare the country longer-term economic damage.

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It's the latest shock to the global economy and markets plunged across the world, all of this as major crude-producing nations, notably Russia and Saudi Arabia, squabbled over oil prices. In US trading today, crude saw its biggest daily drop since the Gulf War in 1991. The IMF is warning of a sharp slowdown in global growth.

We ask our panel: is the world on track for a prolonged economic slowdown? Is it only a matter of time before other countries are forced to follow the Italian example? And how much worse will things get before they get better?

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Marion Lefevre.

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