IMF chief: Ukraine war and inflation threaten global economy
The head of the International Monetary Fund warned on April 14 that Russia's war against Ukraine was weakening the economic prospects for most of the world's countries and called high inflation "a clear and present danger" to the global economy.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the consequences of Russia's invasion were contributing to economic downgrades for 143 countries, although most of them should continue to grow. The war has disrupted global trade in energy and grain and is threatening to cause food shortages in Africa and Middle East.
Georgieva made her comments in a speech on the eve of next week's spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington. The IMF is due to release its updated economic forecasts on April 19, which Georgieva said will further downgrade the estimate for global growth that was cut to 4.4 percent in January.
An unexpectedly strong recovery from 2020's pandemic recession has caught businesses by surprise, leaving factories, ports and freight yards unable to keep up with robust customer demand and forcing prices higher.
Chronically high inflation, which is forcing the world's central banks to raise interest rates and likely slow economic growth in the process, amounts to "a massive setback for the global recovery," Georgieva said.
Georgieva also warned of "the fragmentation of the world economy into geopolitical blocs," with the West imposing far-reaching sanctions on Russia and China expressing support for the autocratic Russian regime of President Vladimir Putin.
"In a world where war in Europe creates hunger in Africa; where a pandemic can circle the globe in days and reverberate for years; where emissions anywhere mean rising sea levels almost everywhere _ the threat...