May 19, 2020 / 5:07 AM / 16 days ago

Long-lasting global recession likely due to COVID-19, says World Economic Forum report

FILE PHOTO: A closed sign is seen in a shop window in Dunham Massey, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dunham Massey, Britain, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Risk managers expect a prolonged global recession as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a report by the World Economic Forum showed on Tuesday.

Two-thirds of the 347 respondents to the survey - carried out in response to the outbreak - put a lengthy contraction in the global economy top of their list of concerns for the next 18 months.

Half of risk managers expected bankruptcies and industry consolidation, the failure of industries to recover and high levels of unemployment, particularly among the young.

“The crisis has devastated lives and livelihoods. It has triggered an economic crisis with far-reaching implications and revealed the inadequacies of the past,” said Saadia Zahidi, managing director of the World Economic Forum.

Environmental goals risk being discarded as a result of the pandemic, the report said, but governments should try to carve out a “green recovery”.

“We now have a unique opportunity to use this crisis to do things differently and build back better economies that are more sustainable, resilient and inclusive,” Zahidi said.

The report was compiled by the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Advisory Board together with Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc and Zurich Insurance Group.

Risk managers were surveyed between April 1 and 13.

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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