Markets are 'getting ready for something worse' amid coronavirus chaos: Expert
CNN financial analyst Richard Quest (Screen cap).

On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," business analyst Richard Quest said that the United States is not likely on track for a recession at the moment — but that if the coronavirus outbreak explodes within the country, it could destabilize the economy into a tailspin.

"The 1,190-point drop today, the largest in the history of the New York Stock Exchange," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Over the past week, the Dow Jones has dropped 3,581 points since last Thursday alone ... could the U.S. economy now go into recession if the coronavirus spreads here in the United States?"

"Right, the qualifications of that is the last bit of your question: If it spreads in the United States," said Quest. "At the moment, there's no reputable economist that is forecasting a global recession or a U.S. recession if the status quo is maintained, i.e., periodic expansions of this with just a few more cases. However, if there was a full-scale outbreak and you start looking at large parts of the U.S. economy being shut down, no question about it. A recession would be on the cards."

"And in fact, one other point," added Quest. "This is the largest — this is the biggest week of turmoil since 2008. When, if you remember the market turmoil then, it got so bad that a recession almost becomes inevitable. We're a long way from that. There's a lot more fall still to come if it does get worse. But at the moment, I would say the market is flashing amber, with a hint of red, and getting ready for something worse."

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