00:07 GMT01 April 2020
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    Oil Prices Slump, Coronovirus Fears Send Global Economy Into Turmoil (33)
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - International agency Fitch Ratings lowered its forecast for the average Brent crude price this year to $41 per barrel from $62.5 per barrel in December's forecast.

    The agency also expects Brent crude to average $48 per barrel in 2021, down from $60 per barrel in the previous forecast.

    Earlier in March, S&P Global Ratings also downgraded Brent crude price forecast for 2020 to $40 per barrel from the previously expected $60.

    Fitch also lowered its forecast for global GDP growth this year to 1.3 percent from 2.5 percent amid the situation around the coronavirus. Last year, the global economy grew 2.7 percent, and the slowdown may be bigger than during the crises of the early 1990s and 2001.

    Emergency support measures taken by countries are aimed at minimizing the damage to the economy at this stage, but they will also support recovery through the second half of 2020, provided that the coronavirus crisis eases, the agency said.

    According to Fitch's estimates, China's GDP growth will slow to 3.7 percent this year from 6.1 percent in 2019. Italy is expected to see its economy shrinking by 2 percent, Spain — by almost 1 percent. Eurozone GDP will decline by 0.4 percent in 2020, and the US economy will grow by just 1 percent.

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    Oil Prices Slump, Coronovirus Fears Send Global Economy Into Turmoil (33)
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    barrel, economic forecast, oil prices, Fitch Ratings
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