Bank of Canada says virus outbreak could worsen already shaky Canadian, global economy

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The 2019 coronavirus outbreak has interrupted economic activities and production on a global scale after infecting thousands of people in China. A continued interruption of supply chains even might cost a lot of problems to the economy of Canada and the rest of the world, according to an official of A Canadian bank on Wednesday.

“It’s never a good time to have an outbreak like this, but when the global economy is feeling a little fragile, (and) we’ve got mixes data in Canada, it’s certainly not great timing,” said Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins.

Canada’s central bank has kept its rates level since October 2018 but expressed a possible cut within the year if economic slowdown persists.

As of writing, there are already 490 people who died from coronavirus in China while Canada has five reported cases of coronavirus. Wilkins emphasized the possibility of an economic downgrade due to the spreading virus even if the epicenter was not domestic.

“It can come through lower oil prices, lower commodity prices – we see a bit of that,” Wilkins said.

Wilkins said that the bank would have to look at the effects and aftermath of the outbreak, depending on its duration.

"If it lasts longer, then we’d have to think about what risk management looked like in that space,” she closed.

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