World faces 'worst economic fallout since Great Depression'

09 Avril, 2020, 22:22 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • IMF chief says pandemic will unleash worst recession since Great Depression

The International Monetary Fund sees the world economy suffering its worst recession since the Great Depression this year, with emerging markets and low-income nations in Africa, Latin America and Asia at particularly high risk. "In fact, we anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression", she said.

Georgieva said that even if the pandemic loosened its grip in the second half of the year and parts of the economy were allowed to re-start, only a partial recovery could be expected.

The goal of the IMF is to "ensure the stability of the worldwide monetary system [by] keeping track of the global economy and the economies of member countries, lending to countries with balance of payments difficulties, and giving practical help to members", according to the organization's website.

The IMF calculates that governments around the world have taken fiscal actions amounting to about $8 trillion, Georgieva said in a preview of key fund reports due to be released during next week's meetings, including the World Economic Outlook.

The virus is causing a tragic loss of life, and the lockdown needed to fight it has affected billions of people.

Covid-19's stark impact on the global economy is laid bare Covid-19's stark impact on the global economy is laid bare.

The IMF, which meets every three months and provides an updated forecast on the global economy, had projected positive per capita income growth in more than 160 of its 189 member countries in 2020.

"Today, that number has been turned on its head: we now project that over 170 countries will experience negative per capita income growth this year", Ms Georgieva said.

"The bleak outlook applies to advanced and developing economies alike". "Everybody hurts. Given the necessary containment measures to slow the spread of the virus, the world economy is taking a substantial hit".

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She added, however, that the pandemic was likely to hit vulnerable countries hardest, adding that more than 90 nations had now sought help from the International Monetary Fund in recent weeks following a fall in demand, more expensive borrowing and a drop in commodity prices.

Of the view that emerging markets and low-income nations - across Africa, Latin America, and much of Asia - are at high risk, Georgieva said with weaker health systems to begin with, many face the awful challenge of fighting the virus in densely populated cities and poverty-stricken slums, where social distancing is hardly an option. They were also unable to implement social distancing in their densely populated cities and poverty-stricken slums.

Georgieva stressed the need for next week's spring meeting to offer debt relief and to agree an increase in the IMF's financial firepower so it could help more poor countries through the crisis.

"In the last two months, portfolio outflows from emerging markets were about $100 billion, more than three times larger than for the same period of the global financial crisis".

The first of the four points on the IMF's recovery plan was to continue with essential containment measures and support for health services.

However, encouraging news is that all governments have sprung into action and, indeed, there has been significant coordination.

"There is no question that 2020 will be exceptionally hard".

But she cautioned that there is "tremendous uncertainty" around this projection.

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