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Dramatic rebound in the global economy: 'This crisis is different'

IMF predicts that most advanced countries will emerge largely unscathed from the pandemic. Is this too optimistic?

FROM an economic point of view, it is almost as if the last year was just a bad dream. As recently as October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was warning that Covid-19 will cause "lasting damage" to living standards across the world, with any recovery likely to be "long, uneven and uncertain".

Yet the forecast it released this week is very different. By 2024, the IMF now believes, the US economy is likely to be stronger than it had predicted before the pandemic. For most advanced economies, it says, there will be only limited scars from the crisis.

Such a positive transformation in the global economic outlook within the space of just six months is extremely rare. It has underpinned an upbeat...

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