World Bank Global Economic Prospects

Presentation of the World Bank Global Economic Prospects report

The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospect report was released on January 5, 2021. The World Bank projects the world economy to expand by 4% in 2021 remaining below pre-pandemic projections. Thus, though emerging from the collapse triggered by COVID-19, the recovery is projected to be subdued. For Europe and Central Asia, the World Bank estimates economic activity to have contracted 2.9 percent in 2020 in the wake of disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is expected to erase at least five years of per capita income gains in about a fifth of the region’s economies and raise the poverty headcount. Economies with strong trade or financial linkages to the euro area and those heavily dependent on services and tourism have been hardest hit. Due to a resurgence of COVID-19, the pace of recovery in 2021 for Europe and Central Asia is projected to be slower than originally anticipated, at 3.3 percent. Growth is then expected to rise to 3.9 percent in 2022, as the effects of the pandemic gradually wane and the recovery in trade and investment gathers momentum. The outlook remains highly uncertain, however, and growth could be weaker than envisioned if the pandemic takes longer than expected to fade, external financing conditions tighten, or geopolitical tensions escalate again.

As with previous economic crises, the pandemic is expected to leave long-lasting adverse effects on global economic activity and per capita incomes. With weak fiscal positions severely constraining government support measures in many countries, an emphasis on ambitious reforms is needed to rekindle robust, sustainable and equitable growth.
The World Bank stresses that the pandemic has exacerbated the risks associated with a decade-long global wave of debt accumulation, especially in emerging market and developing economies. Even before the pandemic a rapid buildup in these economies had raised concerns about debt sustainability and the possibility of financial crisis.

The Global Economic Prospects will be presented by Franziska Lieselotte Ohnsorge, who is Manager of the Prospects Group in the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Practice Group at the World Bank. Prior to joining the World Bank, Franziska Lieselotte Ohnsorge worked in the Office of the Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on regional surveillance, forecasting, and financial sector policy issues. She was previously at the International Monetary Fund, covering a range of Asian, European and Central Asian economies.

Franziska Ohnsorge (Manager, Prospects Group, The World Bank)
Jongrim Ha (Economist, Prospects Group, The World Bank)

Julia Wörz, Head of CESEE Analysis Unit, Foreign Research Division, OeNB

Date and time
Monday, January 18, 2021, 4:00 p.m. (CET)

Online event via WebEx