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Prior to the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus in the first quarter of 2020, growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) in the G20 area had already started to slow, falling to 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with 0.8% in the previous quarter, according to provisional estimates. GDP contracted sharply in Japan 

(by minus 1.8%, following October’s increase in consumption tax). It also contracted in South Africa (by minus 0.4%), Italy (by minus 0.3%) and, (by minus 0.1%), in France and Mexico.

GDP growth slowed significantly in the United Kingdom (to zero, following growth of 0.5% in the previous quarter). It slowed more moderately in the European Union(to 0.1%, from 0.4%), Canada (to 0.1%, from 0.3%), Germany (to zero, from 0.2%), and, marginally, (to 0.5%, from 0.6%), in Australia and Brazil.

On the other hand, GDP growth picked up significantly in Turkey (to 1.9%, from 0.8%) and Korea (to 1.3%, from 0.4%), and more moderately in China (to 1.5%, from 1.4%). Growth was stable in Indonesia, India and in the United States (at 1.2%, 1.1% and 0.5%, respectively).

For 2019 as a whole, real GDP growth in the G20 area slowed to 2.9% (from 3.7% in 2018), with China recording the highest growth (6.1%) and Mexico the lowest (minus 0.1%). Annual growth also slowed in the OECD area, to 1.7% in 2019 (from 2.3% in 2018), with Ireland recording the highest growth (5.5%) and Mexico the lowest (minus 0.1%).