The Chinese economy may grow less than 2% in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus, the U.S.-based credit rating agency Fitch said on Thursday.

A World Bank forecast last January had projected the country to achieve a 5.9% growth this year after four years of growing by more than 6%.

“China’s economy is recovering gradually, but we expect activity to remain weak through the first half of the year, and for full-year growth to dip below 2% in 2020, from 6.1% in 2019,” Fitch said.

The negative forecast stemmed from uncertainty, including potential weakness in external demand.

It said

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