WASHINGTON, DC, United States (CMC) — The director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Alejandro Werner said yesterday Latin America and the Caribbean have become the new coronavirus (COVID-19) global epicentre.
He said the human cost has been tragic, with over 100,000 lives lost. The economic toll has also been steep.
Werner said that the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Update now estimates the region to shrink by 9.4 per cent in 2020, four percentage points worse than the April projection and the worst recession on record, noting that a mild recovery to plus 3.7 per cent is projected in 2021.
In his ‘Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean: An Intensifying Pandemic’, the IMF official warned that countries should be cautious in reopening their economies and allow science and data to guide the process.
He said Caribbean economies have managed to flatten the COVID-19 curve, but their key lifelines have collapsed.
“With tourism coming to a virtual standstill and key source markets in advanced economies plunging into deeper recession, the region is likely to experience a very sharp and protracted contraction in economic activity.