The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said the outlook for the global economy had “darkened significantly” since April and she could not rule out a possible global recession next year given the elevated risks.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters the fund would downgrade in coming weeks its 2022 forecast for 3.6% global economic growth for the third time this year, adding that IMF economists were still finalizing the new numbers.
The IMF is expected to release its updated forecast for 2022 and 2023 in late July, after slashing its forecast by nearly a full percentage point in April. The global economy expanded by 6.1% in 2021.
“The outlook since our last update in April has darkened significantly,” she told Reuters in an interview, citing a more universal spread of inflation, more substantial interest rate hikes, a slowdown in China’s economic growth, and escalating sanctions related to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“We are in very choppy waters,” she said. Asked if she could rule out a global recession, she said, “The risk has gone up so we cannot rule it out.”
Recent economic data showed some large economies, including those of China and Russia, had contracted in the second quarters, she said, noting the risks were even higher in 2023.