COVID-19: Recession looms, says IMF’s chief

THE spread of COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a recession of the scale recorded during the global financial crisis, or worse, the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva, has said.

The IMF chief said the human costs of the Coronavirus pandemic are already immeasurable, stressing that countries need to work together to protect people and limit the economic damage. “This is a moment for solidarity,” she stated.

Georgieva in a statement at the end of a meeting yesterday of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Washington DC, said: “I emphasised three points in particular: “First, the outlook for global growth for 2020  is negative—a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse. But we expect recovery in 2021.  To get there, it is paramount to prioritise containment and strengthen health systems—everywhere.

She said the economic impact of COVID-19 “is and will be severe, but the faster the virus st

The IMF chief said many emerging markets and low-income countries face significant challenges. “They are badly affected by outward capital flows,” saying domestic activity will be severely impacted as countries respond to the epidemic. She said investors have already removed US$83 billion from emerging markets since the beginning of the crisis, in her words, representing “the largest capital outflow ever recorded.”

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