The global coronavirus outbreak is causing an economic crisis that is deeper than the Great Depression and will require a massive response to help in recovery, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
The Washington D.C.-based IMF monitors the financial and economic policies of its 189 member governments around the world.
The IMF works to secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
“Global growth will turn sharply negative in 2020,” Georgieva warned in a blog post. “In fact, we anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression.”
She urged governments to provide lifelines for businesses and households to avoid scarring the economy, making recovery much more difficult.
The IMF released its World Economic Outlook with grim forecasts for its members for 2020 and 2021. In January, it had projected global growth of 3.3 percent this year and 3.4 percent in 2021. However, this was before the coronavirus pandemic.
Far-reaching measures to contain the pandemic — lockdowns, travel restrictions, business shutdowns, and social distancing – since the update have suddenly brought economic activity to a near-standstill.
The IMF is now expecting negative growth globally with 170 of its members forecast to experience a decline in their per capita income.
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“The world has changed dramatically in the three months since our last update of the World Economic Outlook in January,” Georgieva said.
“The bleak outlook applies to advanced and developing economies alike. This crisis knows no boundaries. Everybody hurts.”
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