IMF predicts a gloomy outlook for world economy

 It is going to be a tough 2022—and possibly an even tougher 2023, with increased risk of recession IMF predicts 

IMF’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva wrote a blog post published ahead of the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers, scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Bali on IMF Blogs. Here we are producing some exerts from this blog published on July 13.

As G20 ministers and central bank governors gather in Bali this week, they face a global economic outlook that has darkened significantly.

When the G20 last met in April, the IMF had just cut its global growth forecast to 3.6 percent for this year and next—and we warned this could get worse given potential downside risks. Since then, several of those risks have materialized—and the multiple crises facing the world have intensified.

The human tragedy of the war in Ukraine has worsened. So, too, has its economic impact especially through commodity price shocks that are slowing growth and exacerbating a cost-of-living crisis that affects hundreds of millions of people—and especially poor people who cannot afford to feed their families. And it’s only getting worse.

Inflation is higher than expected and has broadened beyond food and energy prices. This has prompted major central banks to announce further monetary tightening—which is necessary but will weigh on the recovery. Continuing pandemic-related disruptions—especially in China—and renewed bottlenecks in global supply chains have hampered economic activity.

s a result, recent indicators imply a weak second quarter—and we will be projecting a further downgrade to global growth for both 2022 and 2023 in our World Economic Outlook Update later this month.

Indeed, the outlook remains extremely uncertain. Think of how further disruption in the natural gas supply to Europe could plunge many economies into recession and trigger a global energy crisis. This is just one of the factors that could worsen an already difficult situation.

It is going to be a tough 2022—and possibly an even tougher 2023, with increased risk of recession.

Countries facing elevated debt levels will also need to tighten their fiscal policy. This will help reduce the burden of increasingly expensive borrowing and—at the same time—complement monetary efforts to tame inflation. The situation is increasingly grave for economies in or near debt distress, including 30 percent of emerging market countries and 60 percent of low-income nations.

In countries where recovery from the pandemic is more advanced, shifting away from extraordinary fiscal support will help tamp down demand and thus reduce price pressures.

But that is only part of the story. Some people will need more support, not less.

This requires targeted and temporary measures to support vulnerable households facing renewed shocks, especially from high energy or food prices. Here, direct cash transfers have proven to be effective, rather than distortionary subsidies or price controls that typically fail to reduce the cost of living in a durable way.

Over the medium-term, structural reforms are also crucial to bolster growth: think of labor market policies that help people join the workforce, especially women.

ew measures must be budget-neutral—funded through new revenues or expenditure reductions elsewhere, without incurring fresh debt and to avoid working against monetary policy. This new era of record indebtedness and higher interest rates makes all this doubly important.

Reducing debt is an urgent necessity—especially in emerging and developing economies with liabilities denominated in foreign exchange (FX) that are more vulnerable to tightening global financial conditions and where borrowing costs are surging.

To avoid potential crises and boost growth and productivity, more coordinated international action is urgently needed. The key is to build on recent progress in areas ranging from taxation and trade to pandemic preparedness and climate change. The G20’s new $1.1 billion fund for pandemic prevention and preparedness shows what is possible, as do recent successes at the World Trade Organization.

Most urgent of all is action to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis, which is pushing an additional 71 million people into extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme.  As concerns over food and energy supplies increase, risks of social instability are rising.

To avoid further hunger, malnutrition and migration, the world’s wealthier countries should provide urgent support for those in need, including with new bilateral and multilateral financing, especially through the World Food Programme.

As an immediate step, countries must reverse recently imposed restrictions on food exports. Why? Because such restrictions are both harmful and ineffective in stabilizing domestic prices. Further measures are also needed to strengthen supply chains and to help vulnerable countries adapt food production to cope with climate change.


No comments

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Powered by Blogger.