Omicron variant likely to usher growth downgrades -IMF's Georgieva
WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Global economic growth projections from the International Monetary Fund will likely be downgraded due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday.
"A new variant that may spread very rapidly can dent confidence, and in that sense, we are likely to see some downgrades of our October projections for global growth," Georgieva said during the Reuters Next conference.
The IMF said in October it expected the global economy to grow 5.9% this year and 4.9% next year, pointing then to the threat of new coronavirus variants as increasing uncertainty about the timeline for overcoming the pandemic.
Georgieva said high inflation in the United States should be addressed by policymakers but that such hefty price pressures are not being observed equally around the world, allowing other economies to change policy at their own pace.
The IMF's head added that the strength of the U.S. economy has a positive spillover effect around the world even if it means the U.S. Federal Reserve will wind down its accommodative policy stance in the months ahead, as most economists now expect.
Georgieva said tariff reductions are a "useful tool" to help control inflation and that she was encouraged by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai's work on tariff reductions through an exclusion process.
"It is not a silver bullet. There has to be action on all these fronts, so we can see the issue of inflation being contained."
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