The pandemic is pummeling economic growth more than the IMF had initially thought. The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday slashed its 2020 global output forecast to minus 4.9 percent. That's much deeper than the 3% shrinkage it had predicted just two months ago.
Economies have begun to reopen, but the IMF said the combination of lockdowns and social distancing has hurt investment and consumption and has disrupted supply.
Particularly hard hit were the biggest economies. The IMF lowered its outlook for the U.S. and euro zone by more than 2 percentage points. But it was Latin American economies like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina that got hit with the biggest downgrades.
The only major economy expected to grow: China. The country that was first to encounter the coronavirus began reopening in April, and new infections have been minimal.
Looking further ahead, the IMF also cut its global growth forecast for 2021 to 5.4% from 5.8% in its April outlook. But it warned that a major new outbreak could shrink that year's growth to a half percent.