The new omicron variant of the coronavirus could slow down the global economic recovery after the pandemic, estimated the managing director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, this Friday.
“A new variant that can expand rapidly can take a toll on confidence and in this regard, we will probably see cuts in our October projections for global growth,” he said.
In October the IMF lowered its forecast for world GDP growth to 5.9% this year from 6% in July, due to supply chain problems and uneven vaccination.
By 2022, the IMF expected growth of 4.9%.
Since October, the IMF had already hinted that growth could be less sustained than expected due to bottlenecks in production chains, which are pushing inflation around the world.
“Even before the arrival of this new variant, we feared that the recovery, although continuing, would lose some momentum,” Georgieva said on Friday, noting that the expansion of the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China, has already been seen. braked by the delta variant.
The IMF generally publishes revisions to the October forecasts in January.
Omicron, a version of the coronavirus with many mutations, was first detected in South Africa on November 24 and is found in several dozen countries.