International Monetary Fund sees slower rebound in SA's economy next year

World Bank and IMF begin their annual fall meetings

In the last June issue of the "World Economic Outlook" report, the Fund expected that only Egypt and China would succeed in achieving positive growth during 2020, despite economic and health challenges imposed by the "Covid-19" pandemic, which pushed most countries of the world into a sharp contraction.

Gopinath said for emerging market and developing countries, excluding China, IMF has a downgrade with growth projected to be - 5.7 per cent in 2020 and then a recovery to 5 per cent in 2021. Many nations face the threat of economic reversals if government support is withdrawn too quickly, the International Monetary Fund warned.

"These uneven recoveries significantly worsen the prospects for global convergence in income levels", Gita Gopinath, the IMF's director of research, wrote in the report's introduction. "Despite a somewhat softer global contraction expected in the October WEO [World Economic Outlook], weak public confidence and low remittances in the Philippines as a result of the pandemic are expected to continue weighing on private investment and consumption", he said.

In addition, the International Monetary Fund improved its forecast for economic growth in Ukraine in 2021 from 1.1% to 3%, accelerating to 4% in 2025. The less-pessimistic outlook reflects a stronger-than-expected bounce from the $3 trillion in relief aid that Congress enacted earlier this year.

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Trump also mocked his opponent, whom he has nicknamed "Sleepy Joe", saying that "practically nobody showed up" to Biden's campaign event.

The IMF predicted the United States will see a 4.3% contraction in its 2020 gross domestic product, considerably less severe than the 8% contraction forecast in June. The US economy is projected to contract by 4.3 percent this year, before growing 3.1 percent next year.

That is higher than the European Union average of 8.9% this year and 9.1% next. "It is essential that fiscal and monetary policy support are not prematurely withdrawn, as best possible", she said.

The euro area is estimated to shrink 8.3 per cent this year, compared with the previous 10.2 per cent projection, before expanding 5.2 per cent in 2021, down from 6%.

While the considerable global fiscal support of close to 12 trillion dollars and the extensive rate cuts, liquidity injections, and asset purchases by central banks helped saved lives and livelihoods and prevented a financial catastrophe, Gopinath noted that there is still much that needs to be done to ensure a sustained recovery. Many aid groups are pressing for rich nations to go further and forgive part of the debt rather than just halt repayments. In May, they launched an initiative to allow poor countries to suspend payments on official bilateral debt owed to G20 creditor countries until the end of 2020, which Malpass said has freed up $5 billion to bolster coronavirus responses so far. And it would end a period of more than two decades in which the rate of extreme poverty had declined.

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