‘Worse than 2008 crisis’: Spain heading for 8 percent economic slump and 20 percent jobless warns IMF

'Worse than 2008 crisis’: Spain heading for 8 percent economic slump and 20 percent jobless warns IMF
Photo: AFP
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that Spain is facing an economic crisis even deeper than the one it experienced in 2008 in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

The IMF warned that Spain would likely see contractions in GDP of 8 percent during 2020 and that unemployment would again soar above 20 percent.

The figures predict an even more difficult period than during the last crisis which saw Spain’s economy contract by 4 percent at its worst in 2009.

The report warned that Spain’s unemployment rate could climb to 20.8 percent in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

Spain’s number of jobless has been steadily dropping from its peak at 27.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 14.7 percent by end of 2019.

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But Spain isn’t expected to be the worst hit: Italy was predicted to see it GDP fall by 9.1 percent.

In its half-yearly forecast published on Tuesday, the IMF said that what it dubbed the “Great Lockdown” would cause a slump that hadn’t be seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s and would even surpass the pain felt during the fallout from the global financial crisis of 2008.

“It is very likely that this year the global economy will experience its worst recession since the Great Depression, surpassing that seen during the global financial crisis a decade ago,” the IMF said in its report. “The Great Lockdown, as one might call it, is projected to shrink global growth dramatically.”

Three months ago the IMF predicted a global growth of 3.3 percent but had to revise its forecast to include a contraction of 3 percent.

Euro zone economies would contract by 7.5 percent overall in 2020, the IMF warned. Germany would see a 7 percent drop in GDP, France 7.2 percent while the UK’s economy was put at a contraction 6.5percent.

The Spanish government responded to the forecast with the message that the crisis would be intense but short-lived.

In a statement, it pointed out that the IMF expected the economy to be rebounding by the last quarter of this year continuing “with an important recovery in 2021, confirming that we are talking about an intense crisis but of short duration”.


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