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IMF chief warns of upcoming trim to global growth forecast

The International Monetary Fund indicated that it was taking the clippers to its growth forecast for 2021 on Tuesday, with its head warning that the global economy was still being “hobbled” by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kristalina Georgieva, the fund’s managing director, said in an address ahead of the organisation’s annual meeting next week that the ‘vaccine divide’ between rich and poor states was creating a two-speed recovery.

In July, the IMG predicted global economic growth of 6% for 2021, but Georgieva said that would be scaled down as part of the publication of the World Economic Outlook next week.

“We face a global recovery that remains hobbled by the pandemic and its impact,” Georgieva said.

“We are unable to walk forward properly – it is like walking with stones in our shoes.

“The most immediate obstacle is the ‘great vaccination divide’ – too many countries with too little access to vaccines, leaving too many people unprotected from Covid.”

The IMF was still set to pencil in a strong rebound from the universal declines in output seen amid the coronavirus lockdowns of 2020, but a summer of inflation and supply chain difficulties had seen some serious slowdowns in growth in the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China.

“The risks and obstacles to a balanced global recovery have become even more pronounced – the stones in our shoes have become more painful,” Kristalina Georgieva said of the way 2021 had progressed.

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