The IMF and World Bank continue to play leap-frog in reducing their global growth forecasts.
In January, the IMF forecast growth would come to a “virtual standstill”. Then, two weeks ago, the World Bank said the economy would “shrink” for the first time since World War 2.
Today, the IMF joins the Bank in suggesting growth will contract by 0.5% – 1% in 2009. It has also cut its regional forecasts very sharply:
USA growth will be -2.6%, down from -1.5%
Euro area growth will be -3.2%, down from -2%
Japanese growth will be -5.8%, down from -2.6%
Emerging economy growth will be just 1.5%-2.5%, versus 5% plus
The Fund pessimistically now expects the world’s advanced economies to “contract sharply in 2009”. It adds that: “Turning around global growth will depend critically on more concerted policy actions to stabilize financial conditions as well as sustained strong policy support to bolster demand.”