The IMF in Washington, DC.

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the Latin American and the Caribbean region would experience a deep decline in their economies this year with an average fall of -9.4 per cent.

This forecast is 4.2 percentage points below the institution’s April World Economic Outlook forecast for the region. The IMF is expecting the region to rebound by 3.7 per cent in 2021, which is an increase of 0.3 per cent from the April projection.

The Fund however is standing by its projection that the T&T economy will decline by -4.5 percent in 2020 and rebound to growth next year of 2.6 per cent. In his mid-year budget review the Finance Minister Colm Imbert project a decline this year of a mere -2.4 per cent of GDP, while he expects accelerated growth of 4.7 percent in 2021.

Speaking at the virtual June 2020 update for the World Economic Outlook, IMF Economic Counsellor Gita Gopinath remarked that the IMF is projecting a deeper global economic recession in 2020 and a slower recovery in 2021 as compared to its April World Economic Outlook.

Gopinath indicated that global output is projected to decline by -4.9 per cent 2020, which is 1.9 percentage points below the IMF’s April forecast; followed by a partial recovery, with growth projected at 5.4 per cent in 2021.

According to Gopinath: “These projections imply a cumulative loss to the global economy of over US $12 trillion from this crisis.”

She said that the downgrade from April reflects worse than anticipated outcomes in the first half of this 2020, an expectation of more persistent social distancing into the second half of the year and damage to supply potential.

The IMF economic counsellor remarked that several countries have started to recover however, in the absence of medical solution, the strength of this recovery is highly uncertain and the impact across sectors and countries, highly uneven.