The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and said the coronavirus-triggered downturn last year would be nearly a full percentage point less severe than expected.
It said multiple vaccine approvals and the launch of vaccinations in some countries in December had boosted hopes of an eventual end to the pandemic that has now infected nearly 100 million people and claimed the lives of more than 2.1 million globally, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
But the global lender warned that the world economy continued to face "exceptional uncertainty" and new waves of Covid-19 infections and variants posed risks, and global activity would remain well below pre-Covid-19 projections made one year ago.
Reuters cited IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath as saying that a decision by new US President Joe Biden to provide funding for the World Health Organization's COVAX vaccine initiative was "a very big step" to containing the pandemic.
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