PARIS – Prospects for the world economy have brightened, but the recovery is likely to remain uneven and dependent on the effectiveness of public health measures and policy support, said the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Monday.
Its economic outlook projected the world economy would grow 5.8 percent this year and 4.4 percent next year, up from an initial forecast of 5.6 percent and four percent respectively.
“Effective vaccination programmes in many countries has meant today’s economic outlook is more promising than at any time since the start of this devastating pandemic,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.
“But for millions around the world getting a jab still remains a distant prospect. We urgently need to step up the production and equitable distribution of vaccines,” he added.
The outlook seems rosy for major economies, but at different speed patterns due to differences between countries over public health strategies, the speed of vaccine rollout, fiscal and monetary support, according to the report.
The OECD revised the economic growth of the United States in 2021 to 6.9 percent, up from its previous forecast of 6.5 percent.
As to the euro area’s outlook, the OECD revised up 2021 growth forecast to 4.3 percent from 3.9 percent. It also predicted the same upward trend for next year with 4.4 percent.
China will see its gross domestic product (GDP) grow by 8.5 percent in 2021 and by 5.8 percent in 2022, according to OECD.
But in many emerging-market economies where access to vaccines as well as the scope for government support are limited, the economic recovery would be modest, said the OECD.
Even if the growth estimate was in green, the recovery remained at “a critical stage,” warned OECD chief economist Laurence Boone, recommending faster vaccination production and distribution globally and effective public health strategies.
“Stronger international cooperation is needed to provide low-income countries with the resources — medical and financial — required to vaccinate their populations. Trade in healthcare products must be allowed to flow free of restrictions,” she said.
Boone called on governments to keep up income support for people and businesses while adapting it in line with the strength of the economic recovery and health situation.