The coronavirus pandemic could strike a bigger blow to the global economy than the financial crisis did a decade ago, the International Monetary Fund warned.
The IMF expects the economy to enter a “recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse” this year as the virus spreads around the world, managing director Kristalina Georgieva said.
An economic recovery should follow next year — as long as world leaders work to get the disease under control, she said.
“The economic impact is and will be severe, but the faster the virus stops, the quicker and stronger the recovery will be,” Georgieva said in a Monday statement after a conference call with finance officials from the G20 countries.
Experts say the coronavirus crisis has already thrust the economy into a recession by shutting consumers in their homes and forcing businesses to close, leading to mass layoffs. Bank of America expects the US economy to shrink by a record 12 percent in the second three months of the year.
Georgieva said she welcomed efforts from central banks such as the Federal Reserve to blunt the economic damage by keeping cash and credit flowing. She also praised countries that have addressed the crisis with fiscal spending but said more will be needed. US lawmakers were still haggling Tuesday over a stimulus package that could total $2 trillion.
The IMF is “ready to deploy” all of its $1 trillion lending capacity to help countries amid the crisis, Georgieva said. The fund’s lending pool comes from money provided by its member countries.
“Many countries are already taking unprecedented measures. We at the IMF, working with all our member countries, will do the same,” Georgieva said.
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