Global economy: is the IMF forecast good news?

One day before the start of the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund has published its forecast for 2020 and 2021. After growth of 2.9 percent in 2019, "moderately accelerated" growth of 3.3 to 3.4 percent is expected for the next two years. In view of pressing global problems Europe's press is less than enthusiastic about the forecast.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Things getting harder with each unused day

The good news could encourage politicians and managers to simply continue as before, the Süddeutsche Zeitung fears:

“There can be no talk of carrying on with business as usual, because the IMF rightly points out that the economic risks are still immense. The short-term threats include above all the simmering trade conflicts and the excruciating egg dance that the British are performing in their plans to leave the EU. But the long-term dangers are even more serious: climate change, the rotting infrastructure, social tensions, ageing societies, and extreme global economic imbalances. With all these problems the clock is ticking: every day that passes unused makes the solution more difficult.”

La Croix (FR) /

Qualitative rather than quantitative growth

It's out of keeping with the times for IMF director Kristalina Georgieva to speak of "moderately accelerated" growth for 2020 and 2021, La Croix argues:

“The Fund is forecasting a growth rate of between 3 and 3.5 percent. That's anything but stagnation. One wonders what the IMF considers satisfactory growth, bearing in mind the growing concerns about the damage economic activity is doing to the environment. ... In the coming years perceptions will no doubt change radically. Sooner or later it will be considered reassuring if economic growth is not too strong, so that the resources necessary for human life can be preserved. However this does not mean that any idea of growth has to be abandoned. Instead, quality must take priority over quantity.”