The coronavirus outbreak, trade tensions and political demonstrations are some of the reasons why major global economies could face a downturn. Here are some countries which face a possible recession in 2020.

United States

Although the U.S. has been experiencing relatively moderate economic growth, there are some warning signs.

Axios reported Friday that American companies shied away from big-ticket spending in 2019, due to the U.S.-China trade war and fears of an imminent U.S. recession. Axios noted that despite historically low interest rates, American companies are “being unusually frugal, holding back on issuing new debt and pumping up their balance sheets with cash.”

The coronavirus outbreak is also a major risk for the U.S. economy. Bank of America has said that the risk of a recession has increased, as the 30-year Treasury bond yield hit an all-time low Friday. IHS Markit also said Friday that the U.S. service sector contracted in February for the first time in four years.


Japan’s economy shrank 1.6% in the final quarter of 2019, as the country dealt with a sales tax hike and the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis. Coronavirus could push the country over the edge, weighing on consumer spending and hurting its tourist industry.

Robert Carnell, chief economist and head of research for Asia Pacific at ING, said that a "recession now looks all but inevitable” in Japan.


Germany narrowly avoided recession last year as Europe’s largest economy was hit by global trade tensions. Industrial production has also been on the decline. In addition, Brexit remains a major risk for Germany.

Germany, an export-driven economy, has also seen a decline in orders due to the coronavirus outbreak, with manufacturers dependent on Chinese supply chains.


India faced weaker economic growth in 2019, as the country faces a shadow banking crisis. India has also faced trade tensions, as President Trump ended special trade treatment for the country in 2019. In return, India slapped tariffs on U.S. goods.

Trump will visit India on Monday to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders are expected to renew trade discussions.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong sank into a recession in the third quarter of 2019, as the country faced massive pro-democracy demonstrations, which disrupted its economy. The global coronavirus outbreak will further hurt Hong Kong, due to its economic reliance on mainland China.