The world is facing growing recession risks and a fundamental shift away from relative stability, according to the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a speech ahead of the Washington-based fund’s annual meeting, which takes place next week, Kristalina Georgieva said successive economic shocks had unleashed persistently high inflation, prompting costs of living crises around the world. 

Dealing with COVID-19, Russia’s war in Ukraine and climate disasters was being made more difficult by geopolitical fragmentation, she said.

The fund will be issuing downgrades to its growth forecasts for next year in its World Economic Outlook, she added.

Georgieva said the world is moving from a period of “relative predictability – with a rules-based framework for international economic cooperation, low interest rates, and low inflation” into a new age of heightened economic fragility. 

The shift will mean greater uncertainty, higher economic volatility, geopolitical confrontations and more frequent and devastating natural disasters, meaning any country can be thrown off course more easily and more often, she concluded. 

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)