IMF 2019-2020 Outlook: Recession or Synchronized Slowdown?

It is always important to go back in time and see how things looked in past forecasts compared with what ended up taking place. Here are some notes ahead of the Great Recession from the IMF summaries from its same blog post history.

July 25, 2007:

The strong global expansion is continuing, and projections for global growth in both 2007 and 2008 have been revised up to 5.2 percent from 4.9 percent at the time of the April 2007 World Economic Outlook (WEO). Risks to this favorable outlook remain modestly tilted to the downside.

January 29, 2008:

Following strong growth through the third quarter of 2007, the global economic expansion has begun to moderate in response to continuing financial turbulence. Global growth is projected to decelerate from 4.9 percent in 2007 to 4.1 percent in 2008, a markdown of 0.3 percentage point relative to the October 2007 World Economic Outlook. Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside.

July 2008:

The global economy is in a tough spot, caught between sharply slowing demand in many advanced economies and rising inflation everywhere, notably in emerging and developing economies. Global growth is expected to decelerate significantly in the second half of 2008, before recovering gradually in 2009 … the top priority for policymakers is to head off rising inflationary pressure, while keeping sight of risks to growth. In many emerging economies, tighter monetary policy and greater fiscal restraint are required, combined in some cases with more flexible exchange rate management. In the major advanced economies, the case for monetary tightening is less compelling, given that inflation expectations and labor costs are projected to remain well anchored while growth weakens noticeably, but inflationary pressures need to be monitored carefully.

November 2008:

Prospects for global growth have deteriorated over the past month, as financial sector deleveraging has continued and producer and consumer confidence have fallen. Accordingly, world output is projected to expand by 2.2 percent in 2009, down by some 3/4 percentage point of GDP relative to the projections in the October WEO. In advanced economies, output is forecast to contract on a full-year basis in 2009, the first such fall in the post-war period. In emerging economies, growth is projected to slow appreciably but still reach 5 percent in 2009. However, these forecasts are based on current policies. Global action to support financial markets and provide further fiscal stimulus and monetary easing can help limit the decline in world growth.

January 2009:

World growth is projected to fall to 1/2 percent in 2009, its lowest rate since World War II. … A sustained economic recovery will not be possible until the financial sector’s functionality is restored and credit markets are unclogged … new policy initiatives are needed to produce credible loan loss recognition; sort financial companies according to their medium-run viability; and provide public support to viable institutions by injecting capital and carving out bad assets. Monetary and fiscal policies need to become even more supportive of aggregate demand and sustain this stance over the foreseeable future, while developing strategies to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability. Moreover, international cooperation will be critical in designing and implementing these policies.