WASHINGTON: The global recession will be worse, and the economic recovery slower than was anticipated earlier, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva has warned in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“The headline of our assessment is that the recession is deeper in 2020 than we projected in April. The recovery is going to be slower in 2021 than we projected in April. But the actions governments have taken have put a floor under the world economy and are preventing a massive wave of bankruptcies or unemployment,” she said in the interview.
Ms Georgieva explained that initial predictions had been based on hopes that the pandemic would recede, but with growing coronavirus cases across the world, she advised that economies must adapt.
“The recovery we foresee now is one that will co-exist with the pandemic.”
The IMF chief praised social distancing and mask-wearing saying they were “micro measures that allow restart of economic activities,” but cautioned that the best practice is to remain flexible until a vaccine is found.
“Be very agile in your policies as we are still waiting for the decisive component, vaccines and/or treatment, to be in place,” she said.
The actions governments have taken have put a floor under the world economy and are preventing a massive wave of bankruptcies or unemployment, she said.
“But we do need to think of the world on the other side. Now, we have to put smart policies in place, meaning that this very fiscal stimulus that we are going to inject, we have to be thinking of how best to put it in place to do the right thing, and the right thing is, well, make sure that we invest in the economy of the future that is greener, low carbon, resilient to climate shocks,” the IMF official told CNN.
“One of my worries is that the big winner of this crisis, the digital economy, may be good for some but not for all. And by doing that, lack of access for everybody, we expand in inequalities in our society. And we know from previous experiences with pandemics likes with SARS and H1N1 that pandemics push inequality up, especially for the people with lower education, fewer assets in their hands,” she added.