IMF says coronavirus may shrink global imbalances further in 2020

Continued weakness in trade, coupled with massive fiscal expansion, was projected in many countries

  
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON- The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that global current account imbalances narrowed in 2019 as trade slowed, and the coronavirus could narrow them further in 2020, but some vulnerable emerging market economies are facing major investment outflows.

The IMF's annual report on currencies, the External Sector Report, showed that continued weakness in trade, coupled with massive fiscal expansion, was projected in many countries to shrink both current account deficits and surpluses.

The Fund said net current account balances fell by 0.2 percentage point to 2.9% of global GDP, and could narrow by 0.3% of global GDP in 2020, though the outlook is highly uncertain.

(Reporting by David Lawder Editing by Chris Reese) ((David.Lawder@tr.com; +1 202 354 5854; Reuters Messaging: david.lawder.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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