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Unprecedented severity of COVID-19 outbreak in U.S. causing massive unemployment: IMF Updated: 2020-04-07 13:33:00 KST

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a wrecking ball to the world economy, especially the United States, which has seen over 350-thousand confirmed cases, and over 10-thousand deaths as of Monday.
According to a blog published by top IMF economists on Monday, the U.S. economy is experiencing the consequences with "unprecedented speed and severity", adding that nearly ten million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks of March.
The economists added that the number is a sharper increase than even during the peak of the 2008 global financial crisis.
The IMF also cited limited, but encouraging signs of recovery in China, but said it could not rule out a resurgence of the pandemic in the country.
Daily satellite data on nitrogen dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, a proxy for industrial and transport activity, shows that there's a gradual decline in containment measures, and a resumption of economic activity.
Meanwhile, according to the Asian Development Bank last Friday, the cost of the pandemic could be as high as 4.1 trillion US dollars, or nearly 5-percent of global GDP, depending on the virus's spread through the U.S., Europe and other major economies.
It added a shorter containment period could limit the damage to 2 trillion dollars.
The new estimate takes into account the immediate impact on tourism, consumption and investment.
In early March, the ADB predicted the virus outbreak could cost the world economy 347 billion dollars, but latest figures come as the epicenter of the virus shifted from China to Europe and the U.S., with the number of global infections surpassing 1.3 million.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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