SINGAPORE/RIYADH: The guardians of the world economy are convening amid mounting fears that the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak poses a greater threat to global growth than first envisaged.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations began meetings on Saturday (Feb 22) in the Saudi capital of Riyadh for the first time since the virus forced much of China to be quarantined and then began to spread.

The consensus of economists remains for a short-term hit to demand in China and then globally, followed by a rebound. The International Monetary Fund reiterated this week that the worldwide expansion is set to “moderately strengthen” this year after being hurt in 2019 by the U.S.-China trade war.

That could prove too optimistic a view given Chinese factories are

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