EU enters its deepest recession over virus: exec

<p>EU commissioner Paolo Gentiloni <em>(Anadolu)</em></p>

EU commissioner Paolo Gentiloni (Anadolu)

BRUSSELS – The European Union, over the pandemic, has entered the deepest economic recession in its history, the bloc's commissioner for economy said on Wednesday.

"The coronavirus caused an unprecedented economic crisis," Paolo Gentiloni said.

Gentiloni presented the EU’s 2020 spring economic forecast, and according to the report, its gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract 7.4 percent in 2020.

“Both recession and recovery will be uneven,” he said.

Inflation will be significantly weaker due to the fall of consumer prices, while unemployment is set to rise despite government measures, he added.

Among EU countries, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Croatia are expected to record the biggest economic fallout in 2020 with more than 9 percent loss of their GDPs (minus 9.7, minus 9.5, minus 9.4, and minus 9.1 percent, respectively).

France’s economy will shrink 8.2 percent, while Germany can prepare for a 6.5-percent fallout.

However, the European Commission estimates an economic relaunch for the bloc in 2021 with an average 6.1 percent of GDP growth.

Unemployment rate may rise to 9 percent in average this year, but the number features great national differences.

Nearly one in five workers might lose their jobs in Greece and Spain with an expected 19.9 percent and 18.9 percent unemployment rate, respectively.

The ratio will only be 4 percent in Germany.

The report foresees a very mild improvement for 2021 with 7.9 percent EU-wide unemployment rate, maintaining nearly 17 percent ratio in Greece and Spain.

Consumer prices are expected to grow 0.6 percent this year, and 1.3 percent in the next one.

Turkey’s economic loss will be lower than the EU average, according to the spring forecast.

The GDP is supposed to shrink 5.4 percent in 2020 and grow 4.4 percent the year after.

After originating in China last December, the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has spread to at least 187 countries and regions.

Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed more than 257,800 worldwide, with total infections reaching more than 3.68 million, while recoveries exceeded 1.2 million patients, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University. (Anadolu)