Coronavirus ‘Great Lockdown’ to Shrink Global Economy by 3% in 2020: IMF

The global economy will decline by three  percent by 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, in an unprecedented contraction of activity triggered by the coronavirus that is going to be the most serious downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The IMF, in its 2020 World Economic Outlook, predicted a partial rebound in 2021, with the world economy growing at a 5.8% rate, but said its forecasts were marked by “extreme uncertainty” and that outcomes could be far worse, depending on the course of the pandemic.

“This recovery in 2021 is only partial as the level of economic activity is projected to remain below the level we had projected for 2021, before the virus hit,” IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said in a statement.

Under the Fund’s best-case scenario, the world is likely to lose a cumulative $9 trillion in output over two years – greater than the combined GDP of Germany and Japan, she added.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said last week that some $8 trillion in fiscal stimulus being poured in by governments to stave off collapse was not likely to be enough. She is expected to argue this week for more debt relief for the poorest countries.

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