Global economic downturn from COVID-19 could be worse than first projected: IMF

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The head of the International Monetary Fund on Friday signaled a possible downward revision of global economic forecasts, and warned the United States and China against rekindling a trade war that could weaken a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, told an online event hosted by the European University Institute that recent economic data for many countries was coming in below the fund’s already pessimistic forecast for a 3% contraction in 2020.

“With no immediate medical solutions, more adverse scenarios might unfortunately materialize for some economies,” Georgieva said. “It is the unknown about the behavior of this virus that is clouding the horizon for projections.”

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The IMF’s April projection for a 3% contraction the global economy would mark the steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The IMF forecast a partial rebound would follow in 2021, but warned that outcomes could be far worse, depending on the course of the pandemic.

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The U.S. economy – the largest in the world – has been particularly hard hit by widespread shutdowns aimed at containing the spread of the virus. U.S.

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