From Isaac Anumihe, (Abuja) and Steve Agbota
International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that global economic prospects remain highly uncertain one year into the pandemic.
In its world economic outlook report, the fund said that new virus mutations and the accumulating human toll raise concerns, even as growing vaccine coverage lifts sentiment. It added that economic recoveries are diverging across countries and sectors, reflecting variation in pandemic-induced disruptions and the extent of policy support.
“The outlook depends not just on the outcome of the battle between the virus and vaccines—it also hinges on how effectively economic policies deployed under high uncertainty can limit lasting damage from this unprecedented crisis” it said.
According to IMF, global growth is projected at 6 per cent in 2021, moderating to 4.4 per cent in 2022. The projections for 2021 and 2022, it noted, are stronger than in the October 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO). 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. High uncertainty surrounds this outlook, related to the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support to provide a bridge to vaccine-powered normalisation and the evolution of financial conditions, the fund, explained.
“Although the contraction of activity in 2020 was unprecedented in living memory, extraordinary policy support prevented even worse economic outcomes. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, a way out of this health and economic crisis is increasingly visible, but prospects remain highly uncertain. The strength of the recovery will depend in no small measure on a rapid rollout of effective vaccines worldwide.