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IMF revises grim forecasts down further

26 June 2020

Global GDP to shrink almost 5%, world trade down nearly 12% in 2020


The global economy and trade will shrink more in 2020, and recover more slowly in 2021, than previously projected, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). COVID-19 had a worse-than-expected impact in 1H 2020. Global growth is now likely to be “swoosh”-shaped – sharp initial downturn, followed by a gradual recovery, said the IMF economists. The Fund revised downwards its April forecasts of a 3.0% drop in global GDP in 2020 to 4.9%, while the recovery estimates for 2021 were moderated from 6% to 5.4% growth. IMF economists are now saying global trade may shrink 11.9% in 2020, a 0.9 percentage point downward revision from April. They expect a 8.0% rebound in trade in 2021, down from 8.4% previously anticipated. Bulk liquid cargos track overall trade flows (see chart on the right above), so the IMF projections suggest that the downturn in chemical cargos may also be more severe than previously expected. The report also reveals that countries will take longer to get on their feet, so the recovery in chemical demand, and cargos, will also be gradual.

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