The Financial Express

IMF scales up projection for Bangladesh's GDP growth to 5pc

| Updated: April 08, 2021 01:00:31

Labourers carrying iron rods by a push-cart, amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, at Tejgaon in Dhaka city last year —FE file photo Labourers carrying iron rods by a push-cart, amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, at Tejgaon in Dhaka city last year —FE file photo

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has scaled up its projection for Bangladesh's GDP growth to 5 per cent in 2021, from its previous forecast of 4.4 per cent in October last year, amid concerns over the country's economic prospects in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The South Asian country's economy is expected to grow 7.5 per cent in 2022 as the global economy looks to regain its footing with the worldwide rollout of vaccines, the IMF revealed in its latest World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday.

The report follows the World Bank's revision of Bangladesh’s GDP projection to 3.6 per cent in fiscal 2021, compared to its earlier forecast of 2 per cent, reports bdnews24.com with details from Reuters.

The IMF also raised its outlook for global economic growth again, forecasting worldwide output would rise 6 per cent this year, a rate unseen since the 1970s, thanks largely to the unprecedented policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That upgrade, from 5.5 per cent less than three months ago, largely reflects a rapidly brightening outlook for the US economy, which the IMF now sees growing by 6.4 per cent in 2021, the fastest since the early 1980s.

Meanwhile, the projections for emerging and developing economies in Asia for 2021 have been revised up by 0.6 percentage point, reflecting a stronger recovery than initially expected after lockdowns were eased in some large countries such as India, the report said.

The IMF forecast, if realised, would mark the fastest pace of global growth since 1976 but also comes off the steepest annual downturn of the post-war era last year as the pandemic brought commerce around the world to a near stand-still at times.

The fund said the world economy contracted 3.3 per cent in 2020, a modest upgrade from an estimated contraction of 3.5 per cent in its January update.

The latest World Economic Outlook - released at the start of the IMF’s and World Bank’s spring meetings - reflects a dramatic divergence between the outlook for the United States and much of the rest of the world courtesy of another $1.9 trillion in pandemic relief spending recently enacted in Washington.

The outlooks for other advanced economy heavyweights, such as Germany, France and Japan, hardly improved at all since January.

Forecasts for emerging market economies, while somewhat improved, took a back seat to their developed peers. The fund’s outlook for EM economies rose by just 0.4 percentage point - half of the advanced economy mark-up - to 6.7 per cent from the view in January.

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