BUSINESS Coronavirus unlikely to cause long-term setback to China's economy: economists

BUSINESS

Coronavirus unlikely to cause long-term setback to China's economy: economists

Xinhua

06:04, February 08, 2020

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(Photo: Xinhua)

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The novel coronavirus won't cause a long-term setback to China's economic growth, South African economists have said.

"China is a fast growing economy," and the virus "is likely to be a temporary setback in the immediate to short-term for most areas," Annabel Bishop, senior economist at Investec, told Xinhua recently.

Bishop said she was impressed with how the Chinese government has responded to the outbreak. "The Chinese government has made enormous, rapid progress in a number of areas to deal with the virus," the economist said.

"It is likely to continue this trajectory, and yield successes in conjunction with working closely with other countries in the development of vaccines and treatments, and also in communication and support," she added.

By noting that some countries have decided to suspend flights to China, Bishop said that the tourism sector would likely be influenced by that.

"Although it is by no means yet a full countrywide shut down, the precautionary measures will still have an impact on Chinese GDP (gross domestic product)," the economist added.

She stressed limiting the spread of the coronavirus would be good for China's economic development. "A quick containment of the virus ... would be very beneficial."

Jannie Rossouw, head of the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, said he believes that the impact on the economy would be limited.

"China will get the virus under control, but planning for any health outbreak is difficult because it's unexpected," he said. But he added "Businesses will soon plan how to operate around it."


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