The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the global economy into its deepest recession since World War II. Despite substantial policy support, global GDP in
2020 is projected to contract by 5.2 percent, followed by a recovery of 4.2 percent in 2021. The pandemic has deeply disrupted livelihoods, with the fall in working hours estimated to be equivalent to the loss of nearly 500 million full-time jobs in 2Q 2020 alone. It is expected
to push 110 to 150 million people into extreme poverty by 2021. The resurgence of COVID-19 is casting a shadow over the global recovery as countries are forced to retighten
social-distancing measures, but confidence has been boosted by news that several COVID-19 vaccines have shown high efficacy rates in clinical trials. COVID-19 cases have risen sharply in the euro area – Russia’s largest trading partner – in the fourth quarter and have imperiled the nascent economic recovery as authorities in several countries maintain, reintroduce, or tighten pandemic-control measures. Activity in China, Russia’s second-largest
trading partner, is showing signs of picking up, with output expanding in 3Q 2020 by 4.9 percent, y/y. The pandemic is expected to have longer-term scarring effects on productivity and potential growth, as investment weakens further and as human capital accumulation slows due to extended school closures and prolonged unemployment.

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