4 Mar 2020

World economies battle Covid-19 threat

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 4 March 2020
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a press conference after a Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington, DC on July 31, 2019.

Fed chair Jerome Powell Photo: AFP

Pressure's mounting on the New Zealand government to give tax cuts and for the reserve bank to cut interest rates  because of the economic risks posed by the new coronavirus.

As the numbers and spread of Covid-19 grows, it is having an impact on world economies, and many are starting to take emergency action.

The US Central bank, has slashed its interest rates by half a percentage point, in the first unscheduled, emergency rate cut since 2008 and the biggest by the Federal Reserve since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

It follows interest rate cuts in both Australia and Malaysia. Meanwhile finance ministers from the G7 group of nations have pledged to use "all appropriate policy tools" to tackle the economic impact.

RNZ's Gyles Beckford has the latest.