IMF warns of slower recovery for eurozone economy
Tuesday, October 13, 2020       20:05 WIB

Brussels, Oct 13, 2020 (AFP)
The eurozone economy will suffer a historic crash in 2020, but not as badly as first expected, IMF data showed on Tuesday as it warned of a slow recovery.
The IMF said the eurozone economy would contract by a staggering 8.3 percent this year, a free fall not seen since the 1930s Great Depression.
However this was an improvement on the 10.2 percent drop predicted in June and before the European economy stirred back into action over the summer months.
With as yet no medical solution to the pandemic, the IMF warned that the economy would only expand by 5.2 percent in 2021, weaker than the 6.0 percent predicted in June.
The data for this year was better than the EU's own July forecast that said the eurozone economy would plunge by 8.7 percent in 2020.
The European Union was far more optimistic for 2021, seeing a 6.1 percent expansion, nearly a full point stronger than the IMF's forecast.
In Europe, Spain would suffer the most with GDP sliding by 12.8 percent this year. Italy would crash by 10.6 percent and France by 8.3 percent.
Germany, the continent's export powerhouse, would see growth suffer by six percent this year, the IMF said, as demand from Asia remained sustained.
Non-EU Britain would see its economy shrink by 9.8 percent in 2020, with a 5.9 percent recovery in 2021, the fund said.
It noted that a failure to forge a trade deal by December 31 "would increase business costs and could disrupt long-standing cross-border production arrangements."
- 'Aggressive' policy -
The IMF said the situation could have been worse and commended European countries for a spending bonanza to blunt the economic shocks of the pandemic.
It singled out the EU's 750 billion euro recovery package as the kind of measure that sends the right signal that the economy could be helped.
It also noted the historic measures taken by the European Central Bank, which have boosted the stock markets and crucially kept the borrowing costs of massively-indebted countries like Italy at historic lows.
"These aggressive policy countermeasures have played a vital role in supporting sentiment and preventing further amplification of the COVID-19 shock through the financial system," the IMF said.
It also underlined that strength of the euro, especially against the globally dominant dollar.
In the April to September period, "the euro appreciated by close to four percent on improving economic prospects and slower increases in COVID-19 cases."
The dollar weakened by about the same amount in the period, though a new peak of cases across Europe could change the dynamic.
The IMF said the slump in growth for Europe will be deeper than that of the United States, where the recession will only fall to 4.3 percent this year, with growth of 3.1 percent next year.
The downturns in Asia would be even more moderate in comparison, the IMF said.

Sumber : AFP