The global economy will shrink this year as the world enters “a Great Recession,” the head of the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.
Speaking in a taped interview with French television channel France 24, Dominique Strauss-Kahn said economic data has worsened since January, when the IMF forecast global growth in gross domestic product of 0.5 percent this year.
“Since then the news hasn’t been good,” Strauss-Kahn said. “I think that we can now say that we’ve entered a Great Recession.”
Strauss-Kahn didn’t make a precise forecast for global economic decline this year.
“This recession can last a long time,” Strauss-Kahn added, “unless the policies we’re expecting are put in place, in which case 2010 can be a year of return to growth.”
The World Bank said Sunday that the global economy will shrink this year for the first time since World War II and that the global financial crisis will make it tougher for poor and developing nations to access needed financing.
Trade is forecast to fall to its lowest point in 80 years in 2009, as economic hardship ripples across the globe, the bank said. The most drastic trade slowdowns are expected in East Asia, where growth had been robust, the bank said in a paper prepared for a meeting of finance ministers and central bank officials this week.