“It’s not only a demand shock, it’s a confidence shock and supply chain disruption shock that central banks could not deal with alone,” she said.

If downside risks materialize, the OECD said coordinated action would prove more effective than each country going it alone. It could even be helpful to flag such a possibility now.

“Confidence is falling everywhere so you don’t want to send a reactionary message, but at least a message that you are discussing and being prepared to take measures, and to do that jointly,” Boone said.

There are some measures governments can and must take immediately, the OECD said. Those could include fiscal support for health services, flexible work regimes with guarantees on take-home pay, providing liquidity to the financial sector, targeted support for affected industries like tourism, and looser state aid and fiscal rules.

Beyond Coronavirus, other significant risks continue to weigh on the global economic outlook. Those include trade and investment tensions that “remain high and could spread further,” and uncertainty over Brexit. The recent slump on financial markets also adds to vulnerabilities from high debt levels and deteriorating credit quality, the OECD said.

“We are very humble when we make this forecast,” Boone said in an interview. “It’s a very unusual situation and it’s changing day by day.”

--With assistance from Zoe Schneeweiss and Catherine Bosley.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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