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As outbreak spreads, risks to US economy grow

As the coronavirus spreads and raises the risk of recession, some analysts are further downgrading their forecasts for the U.S. economy.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, estimates the outbreak will reduce growth during the first three months of 2020 by six-tenths of a percentage point to 1.3%, more than his previous forecast of a four- to five-tenths of a point impact. The halt to Boeing’s production of its 737 Max airliner is also set to significantly hurt the economy in the current quarter.

The epidemic’s spread in recent days has sharply increased the number of cases in China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. The number of infections worldwide is approaching 80,000, mostly in China, and the death toll now tops 2,600. There have been 35 cases in the U.S.

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