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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.

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.

Four charts showing lower but rising daily cases and deaths in EMDEs, along with higher lockdown stringency and lower mobility

As the Pandemic Surges in Poor Countries, Why Does the IMF Still Forecast a Milder Economic Crisis for Them?

Last week, the IMF revised the post-COVID growth forecasts it had made originally in the April World Economic Outlook (WEO). The April growth forecasts numbers projected a significantly more optimistic outlook for EMDEs compared with advanced economies. It turns out that the latest June forecast maintains this relative optimism for EMDEs.

An image of money, to illustrate the proposal for special drawing rights

New SDRs? That Pesky 85 Percent Approval

Last week Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar sent a letter signed by hundreds of lawmakers from 40 countries to the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, urging them to greatly increase the access of developing countries to financial assistance. They called for a new issue of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) at the IMF, echoing the earlier plea of Gordon Brown and Larry Summers for at least $1 trillion in new SDRs.

Image of pollution affecting a forest

What Should We Ask from the IMF on Climate Change?

While the world’s decision makers are now rightly focusing on the COVID-19 crisis and its potentially devastating economic aftermath, the climate change agenda has been moved from the center stage. As the world begins to rethink what the post COVID-19 economic order will look like, climate change will again play a key role. And so will the IMF.  

An aerial view of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo by Dominic Chavez / World Bank

“Spend What It Takes” to Respond to COVID-19 in Poor Countries, Too

It is now only a question of when, not if, the COVID-19 pandemic will exact its human and economic toll on the poor and developing countries of South Asia, Africa, and Latin America the way it is already ravaging East Asia, Europe, and North America. And when it does, they too will need to respond with exceptional heath and financial measures in the face of this unprecedented global challenge.

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