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Global economic contraction to be steepest this year: Poll

Many countries are under lockdowns to curb the spread of an outbreak in which more than 2.6 million people worldwide have been infected and over 180,000 have died, bringing global economic activity to a halt, particularly in the services industry.

As per a polls of more than 500 economists who were surveyed over the past few weeks showed most major economies were in the midst of a severe economic downturn and their recoveries were predicted to be U-shaped.

More than 55% or 87 of 155 economists said the global economic recovery would be U-shaped. Thirty-one analysts said it would be V-shaped and 24 said it be more like a check mark. A few respondents expected a W- or L- shape.

The global economy was forecast to shrink 2.0% this year, compared to a 1.2% contraction predicted just three weeks ago and growth of 1.6% forecast before that in the March 20 poll, underscoring how fast the outlook has deteriorated. Forecasts ranged between +0.6% and -6.0%.

The latest private-sector view is a bit less pessimistic than the International Monetary Fund’s latest forecast for a 3.0% contraction this year, but is a volte-face from 3.3% growth predicted at the start of the year before the global outbreak.

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