IMF: Coronavirus could damage global growth in 2020

Published: Feb 16, 2020, 19:34 IST | AFP | Dubai

IMF Managing director Kristalina Georgieva said the full impact of the spreading disease that has already killed more than 1,600 people would depend on how quickly it was contained

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Picture/ AFP
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Picture/ AFP

Dubai: The coronavirus epidemic could damage global economic growth this year, the IMF head said Sunday, but a sharp and rapid economic rebound could follow. "There may be a cut that we are still hoping would be in the 0.1-0.2 percentage space," the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, told the Global Women's Forum in Dubai.

She said the full impact of the spreading disease that has already killed more than 1,600 people would depend on how quickly it was contained. "I advise everybody not to jump to premature conclusions. There is still a great deal of uncertainty. We operate with scenarios, not yet with projections, ask me in 10 days," Georgieva said.

In its January update to the World Economic Outlook, the IMF lowered the global economic growth forecast in 2020 by a 0.1 percentage point to 3.3 per cent, following a 2.9 per cent growth the previous year, the lowest in a decade.

Georgieva said it was "too early" to assess the full impact of the epidemic but acknowledged that it had already affected sectors such as tourism and transportation. "It is too early to say because we don't yet quite know what is the nature of this virus. We don't know how quickly China will be able to contain it. We don't know whether it will spread to the rest of the world," she said.

If the disease is "contained rapidly, there can be a sharp drop and a very rapid rebound", in what is known as the V-shaped impact, she said.

Compared to the impact of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002, she said China's economy then made up just 8.0 per cent of global economy. Now, that figure is 19 per cent.

She said the trade agreement between the United States and China, the world's first and second economies, had reduced the disease's impact on the global economy. But the world should be concerned "about sluggish growth" impacted by uncertainty, said the IMF chief.

"We are now stuck with low productivity growth, low economic growth, low-interest rates, and low inflation," she told the Dubai forum, also attended by US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and former British prime minister Theresa May.

Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.com

Subscribe
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK