International Monetary Fund ups global GDP growth forecast, warns of poverty rise

IMF boosts eurozone’s growth forecast

The International Monetary Fund raised its outlook for global economic growth again on Tuesday, forecasting worldwide output would rise 6% this year, a rate unseen since the 1970s, thanks largely to the unprecedented policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IMF is now projecting a stronger recovery for the global economy, at six per cent in 2021, compared with 5.5 per cent it predicted in January.

CARE Ratings Chief Economist Madan Sabnavis said 12.5 per cent economic growth for India in the current financial year was "very unlikely", as rising Covid-19 cases were resulting in regional lockdowns.

The global economy shrank by 4.3 per cent past year, over two-and-a-half times more than during the global financial crisis of 2009.

The government announced last week that the country's exports expanded for a sixth straight month in March, increasing 16.6 percent from a year earlier to $53.8 billion.

The IMF's latest World Economic Outlook report said UK's economy would grow by 5.3% in 2021, up from a previous forecast of 4.5% it made in January.

After an estimated contraction of 3.3% in 2020 (calendar year), the global economy is expected to grow 6% this year and 4.4% next year, though there are significant divergences within and between countries.

IMF boosts eurozone’s growth forecast

The upward revision reflects additional fiscal support in a few large economies, the anticipated vaccine-powered recovery in the second half of 2021, and continued adaptation of economic activity to subdued mobility. The European Commission on Tuesday also said it supported discussions, but said the ultimate rate should be deliberated through the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The report also highlighted the impact on the commercial real estate sector, which is subject to sector-specific shocks, as well as to economy-wide shocks, with the COVID-19 crisis representing a combination of both.

Global recovery from the pandemic is expected to be asynchronous and uneven among advanced, emerging and frontier market economies as well as within regions, economies, sectors and firms. The path of the pandemic and the ability of the authorities to provide policy support will be important for that outcome.

China, where the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out in December 2019, has recovered more rapidly than other countries, but at the cost of a further buildup in vulnerabilities, particularly risky corporate debt, it said.

IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said that the fund has been calling for global cooperation on tax policy "for a long time", adding that different corporate tax rates around the world have fueled tax shifting and avoidance. "Monetary policy should remain accommodative (where inflation is well behaved), while pro-actively addressing financial stability risks using macroprudential tools", she said.

However, unlike after the 2008 crisis, it is emerging markets and low-income countries that are expected to suffer greater scarring given their more limited policy space, it said.

In 2021, consumer prices are expected to increase by 0.7%, compared to 0.8% projected in October.

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