Coronavirus: Global economic impact hard to predict, IMF says

Coronavirus: Global economic impact hard to predict, IMF says
Credit: Belga

The impact of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) on the global economy is still hard to predict, International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson Gerry Rice said on Thursday during an online press conference.

While global economic growth will be lower this year than the 2019 level, “which was 2.9%,” the extent to which it will fall is “difficult to predict, at this point (…) given the uncertainty” surrounding the propagation of the virus, the IMF spokesperson said.

Much will depend “on the spread, the propagation of the outbreak (…) on the measures taken to respond and how effective they are,” Rice explained, stressing the need for a coordinated global response.

“International cooperation is essential to effectively address the coronavirus outbreak,” he said. “This is not something that stops at national borders. We need to work together," he added.

Last week, the IMF announced that it was making $50 billion available for efforts to address the pandemic, including $10 billion that can be lent interest-free to poor and developing countries affected by the virus.

Rice also said the IMF would update its forecasts when it issues its report on global economic growth prospects in mid-April.

The world economy grew by 2.9% in 2019, and in January the IMF had forecast 3.3% growth for 2020. However, even before the coronavirus crisis, the Fund had warned that this recovery would be fragile, vulnerable, and warned against any external element that could threaten it.

The Brussels Times

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