Interview by Economychosun, South Korea, March 24, 2020
- Q: I’d like to know your opinion on the global economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Do you think the recession is a fait accompli?
JF: We are already in a global recession, even though it will take a bit longer for the most relevant economic statistics to confirm that. It is exceedingly rare that economists can make such a pronouncement in real time with any degree of confidence. But it is clear enough in this case.
- Q: How long do you think the recession will last? How big would be the recession impact?
JF: The onset of the recession is very rapid, by historical standards. The loss in output will probably be deep. However, it is not inevitable that the recession should last a long time. If countries are able to fight the coronavirus with very aggressive public health measures — as some East Asian countries have done — so that the rate of infections peaks later this year, there could be a V-shaped recovery.