The World Bank has predicted that the global economy will expand by four per cent in 2021, assuming an initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout becomes widespread throughout the year.
It stated that top near-term policy priorities would be to control the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring rapid and widespread vaccine deployment.
The bank, in its January 2021, ‘Global Economic Prospects,’ noted that a recovery, however, would likely be subdued, unless policy makers move decisively to tame the pandemic and implement investment-enhancing reforms.
It pointed out that although the global economy was growing again after a 4.3 per cent contraction in 2020, the pandemic has caused a heavy toll of deaths and illness, plunged millions into poverty, and may depress economic activity and incomes for a prolonged period.
“To support economic recovery, authorities also need to facilitate a re-investment cycle aimed at sustainable growth that is less dependent on government debt.
“While the global economy appears to have entered a subdued recovery, policymakers face formidable challenges—in public health, debt management, budget policies, central banking and structural reforms—as they try to ensure that this still fragile global recovery gains traction and sets a foundation for robust growth,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
“To overcome the impacts of the pandemic and counter the investment headwind, there needs to be a major push to improve business environments, increase labor and product market flexibility, and strengthen transparency and governance.”