World Economic Outlook Reports

A Survey by the IMF staff usually published twice a year. It presents IMF staff economists' analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term. Chapters give an overview as well as more detailed analysis of the world economy; consider issues affecting industrial countries, developing countries, and economies in transition to market; and address topics of pressing current interest. Annexes, boxes, charts, and an extensive statistical appendix augment the text.

See also, the World Economic Databases

October 29, 2020

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World Economic Outlook, October 2020: A Long and Difficult Ascent

October 7, 2020

Description: The global economy is climbing out from the depths to which it had plummeted during the Great Lockdown in April. But with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread, many countries have slowed reopening and some are reinstating partial lockdowns to protect susceptible populations. While recovery in China has been faster than expected, the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels of activity remains prone to setbacks.

World Economic Outlook Update, June 2020: A Crisis Like No Other, An Uncertain Recovery

June 24, 2020

Description: Global growth is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast. In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4 percent. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6½ percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020. The adverse impact on low-income households is particularly acute, imperiling the significant progress made in reducing extreme poverty in the world since the 1990s.

World Economic Outlook, April 2020: The Great Lockdown

April 6, 2020

Description: The COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting high and rising human costs worldwide, and the necessary protection measures are severely impacting economic activity. As a result of the pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by –3 percent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008–09 financial crisis. In a baseline scenario--which assumes that the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020 and containment efforts can be gradually unwound—the global economy is projected to grow by 5.8 percent in 2021 as economic activity normalizes, helped by policy support.

World Economic Outlook Update, January 2020: Tentative Stabilization, Sluggish Recovery?

January 9, 2020

Description: Global growth is projected to rise from an estimated 2.9 percent in 2019 to 3.3 percent in 2020 and 3.4 percent for 2021—a downward revision of 0.1 percentage point for 2019 and 2020 and 0.2 for 2021 compared to those in the October World Economic Outlook (WEO).


World Economic Outlook, October 2019: Global Manufacturing Downturn, Rising Trade Barriers

October 15, 2019

Description: After slowing sharply in the last three quarters of 2018, the pace of global economic activity remains weak. Momentum in manufacturing activity, in particular, has weakened substantially, to levels not seen since the global financial crisis. Rising trade and geopolitical tensions have increased uncertainty about the future of the global trading system and international cooperation more generally, taking a toll on business confidence, investment decisions, and global trade. A notable shift toward increased monetary policy accommodation—through both action and communication—has cushioned the impact of these tensions on financial market sentiment and activity, while a generally resilient service sector has supported employment growth. That said, the outlook remains precarious.

World Economic Outlook Update, July 2019: Still Sluggish Global Growth

July 18, 2019

Description: Global growth remains subdued. Global growth is forecast at 3.2 percent in 2019, picking up to 3.5 percent in 2020 (0.1 percentage point lower than in the April WEO projections for both years). GDP releases so far this year, together with generally softening inflation, point to weaker-than-anticipated global activity.

World Economic Outlook, April 2019: Growth Slowdown, Precarious Recovery

April 2, 2019

Description: After strong growth in 2017 and early 2018, global economic activity slowed notably in the second half of last year, reflecting a confluence of factors affecting major economies. Global growth is now projected to slow from 3.6 percent in 2018 to 3.3 percent in 2019, before returning to 3.6 percent in 2020. Analytical Chapters: Chapter 2: The Rise of Corporate Market Power and Its Macroeconomic Effects, Chapter 3: The Price of Capital Goods: A Driver of Investment Under Threat? and Chapter 4: Drivers of Bilateral Trade and Spillovers from Tariffs.

World Economic Outlook Update, January 2019: A Weakening Global Expansion

January 11, 2019

Description: The global expansion has weakened. Global growth for 2018 is estimated at 3.7 percent, as in the October 2018 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast, despite weaker performance in some economies, notably Europe and Asia. The global economy is projected to grow at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020, 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point below last October’s projections.


World Economic Outlook, October 2018: Challenges to Steady Growth

October 3, 2018

Description: The steady expansion under way since mid-2016 continues, with global growth for 2018–19 projected to remain at its 2017 level. At the same time, however, the expansion has become less balanced and may have peaked in some major economies. Downside risks to global growth have risen in the past six months and the potential for upside surprises has receded.

World Economic Outlook Update, July 2018: Less Even Expansion, Rising Trade Tensions

July 2, 2018

Description: Global growth is projected to reach 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, in line with the forecast of the April 2018 World Economic Outlook (WEO), but the expansion is becoming less even, and risks to the outlook are mounting.

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