The European Central Bank announced on March 18, that they will be undertaking a huge new money-printing program. According to reports, the program is aimed at keeping Europe’s financial system functioning, the measure is also intended to help the economy of many countries to deal with the shock caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
As per reports, the Central bank will be spending €750 billion ($821 billion) and buying government debt and private securities before the end of the year. And the bank has claimed that it is prepared to spend even more if necessary. Such a massive increase in the bank's balance sheet is designed to keep financial systems liquid at a time when investors are fearful and the stock markets are extremely volatile.
Central banks around the world have announced emergency stimulus packages in a last-ditch effort to bolster their economies and markets during the time. The European Central Bank in a statement said that it was exploring all options and contingencies in order to support the European economy through this shock. This announcement by the European Central bank comes just days after they had announced that they will be increasing the number of bonds they purchase this year. According to reports, they will buy an additional €120 billion ($134.8 billion) in bonds.
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has claimed more than 8,960 lives across the world and has infected over 2,19,332 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Italy and Iran are the other countries that are most affected by the virus outbreak.
New Zealand on March 17, announced that it would pump $7.31 billion into the economy. According to reports, the amount is equal to 4 per cent of New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This announcement was made in order to slow a contraction expected from the business disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
According to reports, Finance Minister Grant Robertson in a news conference said that the proposed amount was larger than the one that was implemented during the global financial crisis and added that it was larger in terms of GDP percentage to packages offered by other countries like Australia and Singapore.