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IMF Growth projections for all regions fell in the April and June 2020 estimates (versus January), then remained similar in October. All regions are projected to be negative now

Six Takeaways from the New Growth Forecasts from the IMF and the World Bank

This week the IMF released new global economic growth projections in the face of COVID-19, updating their earlier projections from June and from April before that. In recent weeks, the World Bank has also released new projections for various regions. Here are six takeaways that we gleaned from reviewing those and dozens of other projections from other organizations over the course of the year.

Multicolored shipping containers at a port

US Trade Policy Shouldn’t Pit Developing Countries Against Each Other

The global economy is gradually healing from the economic blows dealt by the coronavirus pandemic, but the recovery remains fragile and halting. Reduced trade is more a symptom than a cause of those trends—and what governments do in terms of additional fiscal stimulus will do far more to determine the shape of the recovery in the United States and other countries. Still, trade policy could be a factor, supporting or undermining the nascent recovery.

Chart showing the loans received and repayments for World Bank clients. Most countries are net positive but some are barely and others are negative.

The World Bank’s Response to Our Analysis of its COVID Relief Efforts

Our recent paper examining the World Bank’s COVID-19 performance garnered a response from the institution, which you can read here. We very much welcome the bank’s comments on its crisis performance in reaction to our paper. We stand by the data and conclusions of our paper, but it’s worth reviewing some of the issues under debate here and reiterating the core questions and findings from our work.

Four charts showing that more educated, higher income, and higher skill-level workers are more likely to be accessing distance learning for their kids. The relationship for region isn't as clear.

Three Lessons from a New Phone Survey in Pakistan

After six months of school closures, Pakistan began reopening its schools in a phased manner on September 15. Schools had been shut since March 13, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand the impacts, CGD partnered with TCF in Pakistan and with CERP to survey households with students in TCF schools on how COVID-19 has affected their children’s education, their livelihoods, and health.

The entrance to the IMF building. Adobe Stock

Debt Relief for Poor Countries: Three Ideas Whose Time Has Come

There are three critical and urgent issues that should rise to the top of the agenda for the upcoming meetings of the G20 and the IMF and World Bank. IMF shareholders should seize the moment to give the Fund a mandate to develop feasible but fit-for-purpose proposals in these areas.

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