By David Lawder and Jan Strupczewski
WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Global finance leaders on Tuesday said the world economy had escaped a coronavirus-triggered collapse so far, but warned that failure to conquer the pandemic, maintain stimulus and tackle mounting debt among poor nations could crush a fragile recovery.
At the start of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the IMF issued slightly improved growth forecasts spurred by unexpectedly stronger rebounds from coronavirus lockdowns in the wealthiest countries and China.
The IMF said it now expected global gross domestic product to shrink 4.4% in 2020, compared to the 5.2% contraction it predicted in June, when business closures were at their peak. Some $12 trillion in stimulus supplied largely by advanced economies limited the damage, but poor countries and other emerging market economies faced a worsening picture, the global lender said.
“The story is less dire than we