Global economy can shake off pandemic in 2021, leaders say
Vaccines and fresh economic stimulus promised by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will give the global economy a chance to put the coronavirus pandemic behind it in 2021, policymakers and industry leaders told the Reuters Next conference.
Their optimism came despite a resurgence in COVID-19 cases that has prompted the World Bank to downgrade its growth forecast for this year and warn that delays in vaccination programmes could pinch recovery even further.
The head of German engineering giant Siemens AG said China is currently driving the world economy but was optimistic about recovery in the United States, where Biden has promised a faster roll-out of vaccines and more economic stimulus.
“In the U.S. … they are holding all the cards and if they put the money to work in a wise way, there is going to be a very, very, strong second half of 2021 and especially 2022,” Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser told the digital forum.
The fight against the pandemic, which has claimed 1.9 million lives globally, has now entered a critical stage as countries around the world roll out vaccination campaigns aimed at immunizing large sections of their populations by year-end.
At the same time, emerging new variants of the virus have raised concerns about vaccine resistance and a faster spread of the disease, while China is battling a rise in cases that has seen more than 28 million people put under home quarantine…….read more