The global economic recovery will take at least five years, World Bank’s Reinhart says

The global economic recovery from the recession created by the Covid-19 pandemic will probably take at least five years, according to the chief economist of the World Bank. “We have seen, economic, collapses that are very much outside of the norm,” Carmen Reinhart said, speaking at the virtual Foro Tendencias 2021, hosted by Spanish daily El Pais, on 17 September. “Naturally, there will be rebounds but the real recovery – how long it will take for the average person to recover the income they had before the crisis, the GDP per capita – this will take at least five years.”

The economist said that rebounds will depend on when economic activity becomes “more normal” again following government-imposed lockdowns. However, Reinhart, who was dialling in from Tampa, Florida, drew attention to the “uncertainty” shrouding the recovery. “After the 2008-2009 crisis, I more or less knew what to expect, but here we are in a situation that is very different,” she added. “Everything depends hugely on how quickly there will be a vaccine, how quickly there is global access to it, if – like in Spain and France – there is a spike [in cases].”

She also said there was uncertainty about whether the winter would bring with it a second wave in colder countries.


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