April 10: The global coronavirus pandemic is causing an economic crisis unlike any in the past century and will require a massive response to ensure recovery, AFP reported citing IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva.
According to the French news agency, Georgieva warned that "global growth will turn sharply negative in 2020," with 170 of the International Monetary Fund's 180 members experiencing a decline in per capita income.
"In fact, we anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression," AFP quoted Georgieva as saying in a speech previewing next week's spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, which will be held virtually due to the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19.
Even in the best-case scenario, the IMF expects only a "partial recovery" next year, assuming the virus fades later this year, allowing normal business to resume as the lockdowns imposed to contain its spread are lifted, she said.
But "it could get worse," and "there is tremendous uncertainty around the outlook" and the duration of the pandemic.
Countries already have taken steps worth a combined $8 trillion, but Georgieva urged governments to do more to provide "lifelines" for businesses and households to "avoid a scarring of the economy that would make the recovery so much more difficult."
The IMF is all set to release its World Economic Outlook on Tuesday with grim forecasts for its members for this year and next.
According to AFP, the IMF in January projected global growth of 3.3 percent this year and 3.4 percent in 2021. But that was a different world.
"The bleak outlook applies to advanced and developing economies alike. This crisis knows no boundaries. Everybody hurts," Georgieva said.
She noted that about $100 billion in investments already had fled emerging markets -- more than three times the capital exodus seen in the 2008 global financial crisis.