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International Monetary Fund: World economy to bounce back stronger, but differently

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International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Posted: Sunday, April 11, 2021. 9:25 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The world economy is roaring back, predicts the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but how depends on other factors, the BBC reports.

The world forecast is for average growth of six percent this year and 4.4 percent in 2022, upgraded since January to reflect better forecasts for developed economies, especially the United States.

IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath says a way out of the health and economic crisis is increasingly visible. Vaccinations, she writes, are likely to power recoveries in many countries in 2021.

But there is concern about the divergence of recovery, with countries that are more slowly rolling out vaccines, have limited support from economic policy and more reliant on tourism not sharing the bounty.

The first two conditions are particular issues for developing countries which have less access to vaccines despite the international COVAX initiative and more difficulties with financing.

The IMF report also highlights reversal of gains in poverty reduction, with 95 million more added to the poverty roll last year and 80 million more reported as undernourished.

The IMF says the divergences are occurring not just between but also within countries. Income inequality is likely to increase as young people and those with relatively low levels of skills have been harder hit in both developed and developing countries.

Women have already been affected as they account for a large share of employment in some sectors, such as tourism, where there is a lot of personal contact.

The pandemic has also had an impact on workers whose jobs are vulnerable to automation. That is a process that has been accelerated as a result of the health crisis.

In its recent prescription for Belize, the IMF told the Briceño government to focus on fixing fiscal law and reducing debt ratio in 10 years as well as proposing rebalancing of taxes and the wage bill.

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