The world economy is now on course for its weakest year since the financial crisis as the coronavirus damages demand in China and beyond, according to analysts at Bank of America Corp.

Global growth will slip to 2.8% this year rather than the 3.1% previously predicted, the slowest since 2009, economists led by Ethan Harris said in a report to clients on Thursday. China, where the virus outbreak began, is predicted to grow 5.2%, the worst performance since 1990.

While the economists stopped short of projecting the 2% pace that would spell a global recession, they warned the new forecasts imply a U-shaped trajectory for worldwide growth rather than the V-shape investors had bet on when the health scare began.

“The risks are still skewed to the downside,” Harris and his colleagues said. “Our forecasts do not include a global pandemic that would basically shut down economic activity in many major cities.”

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