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The eurozone economy will plunge 8.7 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, the European Commission said Tuesday in more pessimistic forecasts that do not see a complete rebound next year.
The new forecasts see the eurozone economy bouncing back by 6.1 per cent in 2021, still leaving the region worse off than before the countries were forced to implement lockdowns in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.
"The economic impact of the lockdown is more severe than we initially expected," said Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis in a statement accompanying the release of the updated forecasts.
"Looking forward to this year and next, we can expect a rebound but we will need to be vigilant about the differing pace of the recovery," he added.
Germany, the EU's biggest economy, is expected to see a 6.3 per cent contraction this year and 5.3 per cent growth in 2021.
The economies of France, Italy and Spain will each contract by more than 10 per cent, and then partially recover.
France, the eurozone's second-largest economy, is expected to contract by 10.6 per cent this year and grow by 7.6 per cent in 2021.
Italy, which should suffer a 11.2-per cent drop this year, is only forecast to rebound by 6.1 per cent in 2021.
Spain's economy is seen as contracting by 10.9 per cent before bouncing back by 7.1 per cent.
"The policy response across Europe has helped to cushion the blow for our citizens, yet this remains a story of increasing divergence, inequality and insecurity," said the EU's economy commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni.
"This is why it is so important to reach a swift agreement on the recovery plan proposed by the Commission -- to inject both new confidence and new financing into our economies at this critical time," he added.Agence France-Presse
The United Kingdom left the bloc at the end of January, but EU law still applies until the end of a post-Brexit transition period, and would normally restrict state subsidies.
Summit chairman Charles Michel tweeted "Deal" shortly after the 27 leaders finally reached agreement at a 5.15am (0315 GMT) plenary session.
Nakheel’s customers include property owners, retail and hospitality tenants and small business operators. The package includes free rental periods for retail and hospitality partners who operate within the Nakheel Malls portfolio.
Infections have been reported in 210 countries since the first cases were identified in China in December last year and British aid minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said assisting the poorest nations now would help prevent the virus returning to the United Kingdom.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 1.0 per cent, in the eurozone, Frankfurt won 0.9 per cent and Paris climbed 0.8 per cent.
Spot gold was up 0.8% at $2,033.86 per ounce by 0655 GMT, after hitting a record high of $2,036.49. US gold futures rose 1.4% to $2,049.30.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.26 per cent, or 58.81 points, to end at 22,514.85, while the broader Topix index inched down 0.04 per cent, or 0.55 points, to 1,554.71.
Brent crude was up by 31 cents, or 0.7%, at $44.74 a barrel by 0713 GMT. The contract rose 0.6% on Wednesday to its highest close since March 6. West Texas Intermediate oil was up by 26 cents, or 0.6%, at $41.96 a barrel. The contract ended Tuesday trading 1.7% higher, its highest close since late July.