Coronavirus could damage global growth in 2020: IMF

DUBAI: The epidemic could damage global economic growth this year, the IMF chief said Sunday, but a strong and rapid economic upturn could occur.

There may be a cut that we still expect to be in the 0.1-0.2 percent space, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, told the Global Women's Forum in Dubai .

She said the total impact of the spread of the disease that has already killed more than 1,600 people will depend on how quickly it was contained.

I advise everyone not to reach premature conclusions. There is still much uncertainty. We operate with scenarios, not yet with projections, ask me in 10 days, Georgieva said.

In its January update of the World Economic Outlook, the IMF reduced the global economic growth forecast in 2020 by 0.1 percent to 3.3 percent, after growth of 2.9 percent per year earlier, the lowest in a decade.

Georgieva said it was too early to assess the total impact of the epidemic, but acknowledged that it had already affected sectors such as tourism and transport.

It is too early to say because we still do not know what the nature of this virus is. We do not know how fast China can contain it. We do not know if it will spread to the rest. of the world, he said.

If the disease is contained quickly, there may be a sharp fall and a very rapid rebound, in what is known as the V-shaped impact, he said.

Compared to the impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002, he said that China's economy constituted only 8.0 percent of the world economy. Now, that figure is 19 percent.

She said the trade agreement between the U.S and China, the world's first and second economy, had reduced the impact of the disease on the global economy.

But the world should be worried about slow growth affected by uncertainty, the IMF chief said.

We are now stuck with low productivity growth, low economic growth, low interest rates and low inflation, she told the Dubai forum, also attended by US President Donald Trump daughter and former British prime minister Theresa May . (