IMF Sees Brighter Outlook for Global Economy

WASHINGTON—The International Monetary Fund is preparing to raise its forecasts for the global economy in 2021 and 2022 thanks to recent fiscal stimulus in the U.S. and increasing vaccination against Covid-19, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Tuesday.

The IMF projected in January that global economic output would expand 5.5% in 2021, following an estimated contraction of 3.5% last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the U.S. Congress has passed an additional $1.9 trillion in fiscal stimulus, and the Biden administration has raised its goals for vaccinating the population against Covid-19.

“This allows for an upward revision to our global forecast for this year and for 2022,” Ms. Georgieva said in prepared remarks for an event Tuesday. The new estimates will appear next week in the IMF’s periodic update on the world economy, she added.

Separately, a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday showed that consumer confidence in the U.S. rose in March to its highest level since the pandemic started a year ago, with Americans expressing more optimism about business and labor-market conditions in the coming months.

Despite the brighter outlook, Ms. Georgieva underscored a growing divergence between wealthy countries that are quickly inoculating their populations against Covid-19 and poorer ones that lack the resources to do so.

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