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Latest world economic outlook report 2021 From International Monetary Fund

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The world economic outlook report released by the International Monetary Fund today predicts that the global growth rate will be 6% in 2021 and will slow down to 4.4% in 2022. Compared with the forecast of the world economic outlook in October 2020, the report increased the growth forecast for 2021 and 2022.

China is expected to grow 8.4 per cent this year, according to the report. Although China’s economy has returned to pre epidemic levels by 2020, many other countries are not expected to return to pre epidemic levels until 2023.

The report predicts that the highest growth rate in 2021 will come from Asian emerging markets and developing economies, with India accounting for 12.5%; the growth rates of major developed economies are as follows: 6.4% in the United States, 3.6% in Germany, 5.8% in France, 4.2% in Italy, 6.4% in Spain, 3.3% in Japan, 5.3% in the United Kingdom and 5.0% in Canada.

The forecast of growth rate in 2022 is as follows: China 5.6%, India 6.9%, the United States 3.5%, Germany 3.4%, France 4.2%, Italy 3.6%, Spain 4.7%, Japan 2.5%, Britain 5.1%, Canada 4.7%.

There is great uncertainty in the future

The report said that the global economy has further stabilized, but the recovery process is divided and there is great uncertainty. In order to ensure that emerging market economies and low-income developing countries continue to narrow the living standard gap between them and high-income countries, it is necessary to vigorously carry out international cooperation.

The report said that after a year of COVID-19 outbreak, the global outlook is still uncertain. Although the continuous promotion of vaccines has boosted people’s mood, the emergence of mutant strains and the increasing number of deaths caused people’s concern.

The increase reflects the following factors: more financial support from a small number of large economies, a vaccine driven economic recovery expected in the second half of 2021, and the continued adjustment and adaptation of economic activity to the decline in personnel mobility. There is huge uncertainty in the economic outlook, which is related to COVID-19’s future development path, policy support to help achieve the effect of vaccine driven recovery and changes in the financing environment.

Different influences

Countries that rely on tourism and commodity exports, as well as countries with limited policy response space, have suffered particularly large output losses, according to the report. Before the crisis, the financial situation of many of these countries was already very worrying, and their ability to implement major health policies or support people’s livelihood was low.

Before the expected recovery, the economy experienced a serious contraction, which had a particularly negative impact on the employment and income of some groups. Young people, women, less educated workers and workers in the informal sector are generally the hardest hit. The epidemic is likely to lead to a significant increase in income inequality.

According to the report, the number of people whose income falls below the extreme poverty line in 2020 is estimated to have increased by nearly 95 million compared with the forecast before the epidemic. In addition, it is more difficult for low-income and developing countries to cope with the problem of school closures, so the loss of schoolwork of students in these countries is more serious, especially for female students and students from low-income families. Different groups of students suffer from different negative effects, which may further aggravate inequality.

Policy focus

The report points out that the factors determining the appropriate policy positions of countries vary, especially depending on the progress of countries’ return to normal. Therefore, countries need to adjust their policies according to the epidemic stage, the strength of economic recovery and the structural characteristics of the economy. Once the vaccine is popularized and the emergency backup capacity of the health care system generally returns to the level before the epidemic, the restrictions can be relaxed.

However, when the epidemic continues, the policy should first focus on getting rid of the crisis, giving priority to medical and health expenditure, providing targeted financial support, maintaining a loose monetary policy, and monitoring the risk of financial stability.

In order to achieve these goals and ensure that emerging market economies and low-income developing countries continue to narrow the living standard gap between them and high-income countries, it is necessary to vigorously carry out international cooperation, the report said. In terms of health care, this means ensuring adequate vaccine production globally and widely distributed at affordable prices – including adequate funding for the new crown vaccine access mechanism (covax) – so that all countries can fight back the epidemic quickly and thoroughly.

The report stressed that the international community also needs to work together to ensure that economies with limited funds can obtain sufficient international liquidity for necessary health care and other social and infrastructure expenditures, so as to continue to promote economic development and achieve higher per capita income. Countries should also work closely to increase efforts to mitigate climate change.

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