IMF drives down global growth forecast; India to grow at 9.5% this year and 8.5% in 2022

India’s economy, which contracted by 7.3 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to grow by 9.5 per cent in 2021 and 8.5 per cent in 2022, according to latest projections released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

India’s growth projection released by the latest World Economic Outlook remains unchanged from its previous WEO (World Economic Outlook) update of July this summer but is a three-percentage point in 2021 and 1.6 percentage point drop from its April projections.

According to the latest WEO update, released ahead of the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, the world is expected to grow at 5.9 per cent in 2021 and 4.9 per cent in 2022. The United States is projected to grow at six per cent this year and 5.2 per cent the next year. China, on the other hand, the IMF said is projected to grow at 8 per cent in 2021 and 5.6 per cent in 2022.

Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist of the IMF, said that compared to their July forecast, the global growth projection for 2021 has been revised down marginally to 5.9 per cent and is unchanged for 2022 at 4.9 per cent. However, this modest headline revision masks large downgrades for some countries.

“The outlook for the low-income developing country group has darkened considerably due to worsening pandemic dynamics. The downgrade also reflects more difficult near-term prospects for the advanced economy group, in part due to supply disruptions,” she said. “Partially offsetting these changes, projections for some commodity exporters have been upgraded on the back of rising commodity prices. Pandemic-related disruptions to contact-intensive sectors have caused the labour market recovery to significantly lag the output recovery in most countries,” the Indian-American economist added.

Noting that a principal common factor behind these complex challenges is the continued grip of the pandemic on global society, Gopinath said that the foremost policy priority is therefore to vaccinate at least 40 per cent of the population in every country by end-2021 and 70 per cent by mid-2022. Gopinath said that another urgent global priority is the need to slow the rise in global temperatures and contain the growing adverse effects of climate change.

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