IMF warns: This is how Putin is dragging down the global economy

It is the most important financial and economic policy meeting.

At this year’s spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) in Washington with representatives of the 20 major industrialized countries (G20), this week should in fact be devoted to the economic recovery after the corona pandemic, around billions in aid for climate protection and debt relief for the poorest countries.

But now the spring conference has only ONE topic: Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The reason: The war waged by Russian leader Vladimir Putin (69) is not only bringing death and misery to Ukraine, but also dragging down the entire global economy.

As recently as January, the IMF and the World Bank were forecasting global economic growth of 4.4%. Now they have had to cut the outlook to 3.6% this year and next.

Germany can therefore expect growth of 2.1% this year, lowering the January forecast by 1.7 percentage points. For 2023, economists expect growth of 2.7%.

In this forecast, however, economists did not include a full energy boycott of Russia. If that happened, it would go down considerably.

Particularly bitter: The global economic crisis caused by the war hits the poorest developing and emerging countries particularly hard.

According to forecasts, you can still expect growth of 3.2% in 2022 and only 2.3% in 2023.

And that’s even a cautiously optimistic estimate, as experts concede. “The big unknown in the calculation is how long the war will last,” said a financial expert from the German delegation.

And the global increase in prices (inflation) also makes poorer countries more difficult. While prices are expected to increase by 5.7% in industrialized countries, prices in emerging and developing countries are expected to increase by 8.7%.

The war in Russia also put a strain on the traditional spring meeting there. A number of countries originally did not even want to travel if Russian representatives were there.

It was only during lengthy crisis negotiations that it was agreed not to allow Russia such influence over the international conference. “We don’t let Moscow dictate or destroy themes or formats,” he says. Several participants announced that they intended to use “clear words” when participating Russian delegations. Because whether and how many Russian financial experts will participate has not yet been clarified.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (43, FDP) also wants to give clear signals. He said BILD: “I hope the spring conference will also send a signal to isolate Russia. As Chairman of the G7 Finance Ministers, it is particularly important for me to send a clear signal here. We will isolate Russia with the G7 partners. Russia is no longer a country to trade with as before. When Russian representatives attend G20 meetings, we will not leave lies and propaganda without comment.

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