Rome. In a scenario of slowing global growth, the International Monetary Fund cuts the estimates for Italy’s GDP for the current year, lowering them by 0.4 points to + 3.8%. At the same time, however, in the update of the World Economic Outlook, the forecast for 2023 is raised by 0.6 points – compared to the assessment made last October – with a GDP now forecast to increase by 2.2%. In the year that has just ended, however, the Fund estimates that the Italian economy has achieved a recovery of 6.2% after the -8.9% recorded in 2020. On a global level, it explains, the economy “enters 2022 in a weaker position than expected “due to the mobility restrictions imposed by the Omicron variant and to the growth of inflation” higher and more lasting than estimated “due to rising energy prices and supply bottlenecks” The new estimate for world GDP is cut by 0.5 points compared to the estimates for last October on global growth, which should fall from 5.9% in 2021 to 4.4% in the current year. in 2023, on the other hand, the growth estimate is raised by 0.2 points to 3.8% but is – it is specified – a forecast “subordinated” to the improvement of the health situation in most countries by the end of 2022, “assuming that the vaccination rates improve around the world and that treatments become more effective there”. At the basis of the cut in global growth estimates for 2022 are the problems, of a different but equally worrying nature, affecting the main two world economies, the United States and China. The Fund has lowered the forecast for US GDP by 1.2 points in the current year, bringing it to 4.0%, a decrease only partially offset by the increase of 0.4 points for 2023 to 2.6%, while for China, the only large economy to grow even in 2020, a sharp slowdown is estimated for this year to 4.8% from + 8.1% in 2021 (-0.8 points on October estimates). For the US to weigh – explains the Fund – various factors, from the cancellation of the Build Back Better tax policy package to the early withdrawal of the monetary accommodation, passing through the persistent problems in supply with impacts on wages and inflation. China, on the other hand, is suffering from the ‘rigidity’ imposed by the zero tolerance policy for COVID-19 and the persistent tensions on real estate markets. “The global recovery – explains Gita Gopinath, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and a few days earlier deputy general manager- continues but faces multiple challenges as the pandemic enters its third year “: however the negative impact of the Omicron variant” will weigh on business in the first quarter of 2022, but its impact will lessen from the second quarter”. What has happened in the last two years, he observes, “confirms that the current crisis and recovery are unprecedented”: in this scenario, the rulers “must carefully monitor” incoming economic data, “prepare for the unexpected and be ready to communicate and implement policy changes at short notice. ” In this way, she concludes, “courageous and effective international cooperation should ensure that this is the year in which the world escapes the grip of the pandemic”.
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