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IMF chief says virus spread will hold 2020 global growth below last year

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"Growth this year will fall below the level of last year," Ms Georgieva told a news conference in Washington, but declined to say whether the virus crisis could push the world into a recession.

[WASHINGTON] The continued spread of the coronavirus will push 2020 global growth below last year's levels, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday, adding that the IMF will again revise its forecasts downward in the coming weeks.

The IMF in January had estimated 2019 global growth at 2.9 per cent and 2020 growth at 3.3 per cent. In February, the Fund said the outbreak could shave 0.1 percentage point from 2020 growth.

"Growth this year will fall below the level of last year," Ms Georgieva told a news conference in Washington, but declined to say whether the virus crisis could push the world into a recession.

"It is the duration of the outbreak that at this time is difficult to predict," she said, adding that the effectiveness of mitigation measures would play a key role in determining the economic impact. 

REUTERS