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Depth of slowdown depends on response to pandemic: IMF

Mar '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The severity of the slowdown in the global economy due to the novel coronavirus pandemic will depend on how long it lasts and how governments respond, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose spokesman Gerry Rice recently said that under any scenario, the global growth this year will drop below last year's level of 2.9 per cent.

But how far will it fall is ‘difficult to predict, at this point, obviously, given the uncertainty’, he said.

"It depends, of course, on the spread, the propagation of the outbreak. It depends on the measures taken to respond and how effective they are," he said.

The IMF is due to release its updated World Economic Outlook next month. In January, the fund was still projecting growth would accelerate to 3.3 per cent, but that was before the global disruptions, country-wide shutdowns and plunging oil prices hit.

IMF officials have been urging a strong, coordinated global response, including rolling out spending measures to cushion the blow from the virus.

"International cooperation is essential to effectively address the coronavirus outbreak," Rice said.

"This is not something that stops at national borders, we need to work together." The fund has said it could rapidly deploy up to $50 billion, some in no or low-cost loans, to the world's poorest countries. IMF has received requests from a number of countries, including Iran, and is ‘proceeding expeditiously with all requests’, Rice added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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