Economies could shrink 4.4 percent due to COVID-19 pandemic

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Emerging and developing economies in the Europe and Central Asia region are on course to contract by 4.4 percent this year, the worst recession since the global financial crisis of 2008, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s Economic Update for Europe and Central Asia, released on Wednesday.

Growth, it adds, is expected to recover in 2021, between a range of 1.1 percent to 3.3 percent. The outlook remains highly uncertain, however, and risks are tilted to the downside.

“The pace of recovery depends on the duration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the availability and distribution of a vaccine, and the degree of improvement in global trade and investment. As a result, growth in the region could be weaker than expected if the pandemic worsens,” reads the report.

The pandemic-induced contraction in 2020 is also expected to increase poverty in all countries in the region. Moreover, the pandemic has also adversely affected education and health in the region.

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