IMF lowers global economic growth to 3.6% due to the Ukraine war

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its global economic growth forecast lower at 3.6% this year and the next due to the war in Ukraine and new bottlenecks in supply chains due to Covid-related lockdowns in China.

“Compared to our January forecast, we have revised our projection for global growth downwards to 3.6 percent in both 2022 and 2023. This reflects the direct impact of the war on Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, with both countries projected to experience steep contractions. This year’s growth outlook for the European Union has been revised downward by 1.1 percentage points due to the indirect effects of the war, making it the second-largest contributor to the overall downward revision,” the IMF said.

The war adds to the series of supply shocks that have struck the global economy in recent years. Like seismic waves, its effects will propagate far and wide—through commodity markets, trade, and financial linkages, it added.

Russia is a major supplier of oil, gas, and metals, and, together with Ukraine, of wheat and corn and reduced supplies of these commodities have driven their prices up sharply.

“Commodity importers in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa are most affected. But the surge in food and fuel prices will hurt lower-income households globally, including in the Americas and the rest of Asia,” the IMF said.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia have large direct trade and remittance links with Russia and are expected to suffer. The displacement of about 5 million Ukrainian people to neighboring countries, especially Poland, Romania, Moldova and Hungary, adds to economic pressures in the region, it added.

According to the IMF, the medium-term outlook is revised downwards for all groups, except commodity exporters who benefit from the surge in energy and food prices. Aggregate output for advanced economies will take longer to recover to its pre-pandemic trend.

And the divergence that opened up in 2021 between advanced and emerging market and developing economies is expected to persist, suggesting some permanent scarring from the pandemic, it pointed out.

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