Too early for accurate figures on coronavirus impact on global growth: IMF

FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva talks to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang before a news conference following the "1+6" Roundtable meeting at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing, China November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Florence Lo

RABAT (Reuters) – It is premature to give precise projections of economic growth in China and the World in 2020 following the outbreak of coronavirus, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday.

The IMF is still reviewing its projections for growth in China while looking at the impact of the epidemic on the global economy, Georgieva told a news conference in Morocco’s capital Rabat, where she discussed preparations for IMF and World Bank Group meetings to be held in October 2021 in Marrakech.

The IMF said last month global growth is projected to rise from an estimated 2.9% in 2019 to 3.3% in 2020 and 3.4% in 2021.

“We are still hoping that the impact will be a V shaped curve” with a sharp decline in China and sharp rebound after the containment of the virus, she said. “But we are not excluding that it might turn to be a different scenario like a U curve where the impact is somewhat longer.”

The IMF chief also said Argentina’s debt was unsustainable and that she would meet Argentinian Economy Minister Martin Guzman in two days to discuss “how the IMF can be of help”.

The IMF is willing to help Argentina stabilize its economy, support its most vulnerable people and address poverty “in a responsible manner”, Georgieva added.

The Buenos Aires government must carry out negotiations with creditors, she said, adding, “The government already announced its commitment to a collaborative process with its creditors”.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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