Editor’s Lens: July-August ’21 | Nasrin Nahar Jeneva

Nasrin Nahar Jeneva

The Global Economy is unstable. I’ve read many research papers, articles, journals to write something good for the people, but I couldn’t. Finally, I found some perceptive analysis based on The World Bank‘s report. Here I have tried to address some specific points.

A year and a half since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy is poised to stage its most robust post-recession recovery in 80 years in 2021. But the rebound is expected to be uneven across countries, as major economies look set to register strong growth even as many developing economies lag.

Growth among emerging market and developing economies is expected to accelerate to 6% this year, helped by increased external demand and higher commodity prices. However, the recovery of many countries is constrained by resurgences of COVID-19, uneven vaccination, and a partial withdrawal of government economic support measures.

Among low-income economies, where vaccination has lagged, growth has been revised lower to 2.9%. Setting aside the contraction last year, this would be the slowest pace of expansion in two decades. The group’s output level in 2022 is projected to be 4.9% lower than pre-pandemic projections.

The recent forecast assumes that advanced economies will achieve widespread vaccination of their populations and effectively contain the pandemic by the end of the year. Major emerging markets and developing economies are anticipated to reduce new cases substantially. However, the outlook is subject to considerable uncertainty. A more persistent pandemic, a wave of corporate bankruptcies, financial stress, or even social unrest could derail the recovery. At the same time, more rapid success in stamping out COVID-19 and greater spillovers from advanced economic growth could generate more vigorous global growth.

Per capita income lost in 2020 will not be fully recouped by 2022 in about two-thirds of emerging market and developing economies, including three-quarters of fragile and conflict-affected low-income countries. By the end of this year, about 100 million people are expected to have fallen back into extreme poverty. These adverse impacts have been felt hardest by the most vulnerable groups – women, children, and unskilled and informal workers.

With relief from the pandemic tantalizingly close in many places but far from reach in others, policy actions will be critical. Securing equitable vaccine distribution will be essential to ending the pandemic. Far-reaching debt relief will be important to many low-income countries. Policymakers will need to nurture the economic recovery with fiscal and monetary measures while keeping a close eye on safeguarding financial stability. Policies should take the long view, reinvigorating human capital, expanding access to digital connectivity, and investing in green infrastructure to bolster growth along a green, resilient, and inclusive path.

It will take global coordination to end the pandemic through widespread vaccination and careful macroeconomic stewardship to avoid crises until we get there.

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