In the face of a devastating impact due to the coronavirus pandemic, the world has clearly entered a recession, said the International Monetary Fund on Friday, but projected a recovery next year.
“We have reassessed the prospects for growth for 2020 and 2021. It is now clear that we have entered a recession as bad or worse than in 2009. We do project recovery in 2021,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters at a news conference.
Georgieva addressed the press after a virtual meeting of governing body of the IMF, the International Monetary and Financial Committee. The key to recovery in 2021, she said, is only if the international community succeeds in containing the virus everywhere and prevent liquidity problems from becoming a solvency issue.
“The US is in recession, as is the rest of the advanced economies of the world. And in a big chunk of developed and emerging markets in developing economies. How severe? We are working now on our projections for 2020,” Georgieva said in response to a question.
The new projections are expected in the next few weeks. Georgieva stressed that while containment is the main reason for the economy to stand still and get into a recession, containment is very necessary for recovery.
“Until the virus is not contained, it would be very difficult to go to the lives we love.” “A key concern about a long-lasting impact of the sudden stop of the world economy is the risk of a wave of bankruptcies and layoffs that not only can undermine the recovery. It can erode the fabric of our societies,” the IMF chief said.
To avoid this from happening, many countries have taken far-reaching measures to address the health crisis and to cushion its impact on the economy, both on the monetary and on the fiscal side, she said. The IMF chief said 81 emergency financing requests, including 50 from lower-income countries, have been received. She said the current estimate for the overall financial needs of emerging markets is 2.5 trillion dollars.
“We believe this is on the lower end. We do know that their own reserves and domestic resources will not be sufficient,” she added. Responding to another question, Georgieva said the IMF is projecting recession for 2020.
“We do expect it to be quite deep and we are very much urging countries to step up containment measures aggressively so we can shorten the duration of this period of time when the economy is in a standstill,” she said.