A woman wears a face mask as she walks up St. Mary Street on October 19, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. Wales will go into a national lockdown from Friday until November 9.
Matthew Horwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images
SINGAPORE — Economies around the world are increasing movement restrictions as they continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, and that’s a “major downside risk” for the fourth quarter, according to Swiss bank UBS.
“Forget about the U.S. elections or fiscal stimulus — restrictions creeping higher is the single biggest near term risk to the outlook,” economist Arend Kapteyn wrote in a note dated Oct. 19.
“If countries start to impose ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns that last just several weeks, that may already be enough to turn a positive (fourth quarter) growth rate negative,” he said.
The phrase “circuit breaker” has become popular in the U.K. and refers to a short but strict lockdown intended to break the chain of infection.
There have been more than 40.6 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and at least 1.12 million people have died, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.
Various economies including France and the Netherlands have tightened