After the economy declined in 2020 after the COVID 19 pandemic, it saw an improved growth this year but still posed a risk with ongoing impacts of COVID-19 pandemic as well as inadequate progress on vaccination in poorer countries.
A widening inequality is threatening global growth, projected at 5.4 per cent in 2021, according to the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid year report.
It said that global growth outlook improved led by rebound in China and the United States. It also mentioned that the two large economies (the US and China) are on the path to recovery. However, several countries in South Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and sub Saharan Africa remains fragile and uncertain. Economic output is only projected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 or 2023 in several countries.
UN Chief Economist Elliott Harris mentioned that vaccine inequity between countries and regions was posing a significant risk to an already uneven and fragile global recovery. He said that timely and universal access to vaccination would place the world economy on the trajectory of a resilient recovery. If not, many more years of growth, development and opportunities would be lost, he added.
UNEVEN RECOVERY IN GLOBAL TRADE
Global trade has surpassed pre pandemic levels, buoyed by strong demand for electrical and electronic equipment, personal protective equipment, and other manufactured goods, the report said. It said the countries that depended on manufacturing fared better during the crisis and at recovery periods.
However, the mid year report said a quick rebound was unlikely for tourism and commodity dependent economies.
WOMEN WORST HIT
The report underscores that women are the worst hit. They endure the most of unpaid domestic and care work. The women remained underrepresented in decision-making and in economic policy responses. More women than men lost their work. Apart from this, women-owned businesses also fared disproportionately worse.
Chief of the Global Economic Monitoring Branch at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Hamid Rashid said the pandemic pushed about 58 million women and girls into extreme poverty. This was a huge blow to poverty reduction efforts and exacerbated gender gaps in wealth, education and income, he said.