IMF Postpones World Economic Outlook

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is postponing its World Economic Outlook by about a week until Jan. 25 to account for the more recent developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Jan. 5).

“The World Economic Outlook update will be launched on January 25 to allow our teams to incorporate the latest developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic into the economic forecasts,” an IMF spokesperson told Reuters.

The forecast was originally planned for release on Jan. 19, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice told the media last month.

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IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said at the Reuters Next conference last month that the Washington, D.C.-based international financial institution was probably going to lower its global economic growth projections this month, due to the impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In October, the global economic growth forecast was projected by the IMF to be 5.9% in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022. At the time, the IMF said that this year will be affected by new variants and the surrounding unpredictability.

Since COVID-19 gripped the world in early 2020, almost 5.5 million individuals have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There have been approximately 297 million cases diagnosed around the globe.

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On Monday (Jan. 3), the U.S. set a worldwide record of almost 1 million new coronavirus infections, according to Reuters data. The daily average in the U.S. hit 486,000 cases over the last week, more than any other country.

Economists anticipate that the IMF will slash its forecast for the U.S. as the omicron variant continues to spread. The forecast could also drop over the failure on the part of Congress to pass U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion social and climate spending package, Reuters reported.

In October, the IMF already cut its forecast to 6% for U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2021, citing supply chain disruptions and the ongoing worker shortage. Growth this year is expected to be 5.2%.

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