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G20 summary: Top economies coordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak

The world's top economies called on Saturday for a coordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak, which the IMF predicted would lower China's growth this year to 5.6% and shave 0.1 percentage points from global growth.

The latest draft communique gives less prominence than an earlier version to the outbreak as a growth risk, saying only that the G20 would "... enhance global risk monitoring, including the recent outbreak of COVID-19," the medical acronym for the coronavirus.

We are likely to see a risk-off response for the start of the week – more on that here: What you need to know for the open: Coronavirus risk-off themes rule the waves. 

Key notes from G20

  • China's growth seen at 5.6%, global growth down 0.1 pct point.
  • IMF looking at scenarios of more persistent, widespread outbreak.
  • Most G20 finance ministers in Riyadh mentioned risk from virus.
  • US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday central bankers will look at options for responding to the fast-spreading coronavirus as needed.
  • Mnuchin told reporters too early to speculate about the longer-term impact of the deadly outbreak, but more would be known in three to four weeks.
  • "I’m not going to comment on monetary policy, but obviously central bankers will look at various different options as this has an impact on the economy," Mnuchin said.
  • Mnuchin says should have better understanding of impact of coronavirus in 3-4 weeks.
  • Mnuchin says we should do everything we can to prevent spread of virus.
  • Mnuchin says US opposes discriminatory digital services taxes; will respond with investigations, potential retaliatory tariffs.
  • Mnuchin says working to reach solution for digital tax reform at OECD.
  • Mnuchin says a lot of discussion about coronavirus impact at G20 meetings; no question it's going to have some short-term impact.
  • Mnuchin says main u.s. focus on trade front is to reach trade deal with Britain; will also negotiate with EU.
  • Mnuchin says central bankers will look at options for responding to coronavirus if needed.
  • International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva presented the outlook to central bankers and finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries, but said the IMF continued to look at more dire scenarios. The China outlook is 0.4 percentage points lower than it was last month.
  • China reported a sharp fall in new deaths and cases on Saturday.
  • Japan's finance minister said almost all the G20 countries mentioned the risk posed by the coronavirus during the gathering in Riyadh and that he had warned of a serious impact on the global economy if it spreads further.

A source familiar with the discussions said the G20 countries had not made plans for any separate committee or meetings to coordinate a response.


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