2020 ends with a world economic contraction above 4%, the biggest GDP decrease since World War 2. Among developed nations, growth comes to a standstill after the renewal of activity in Q3 as a result of the surge in cases and the movement restrictions. Services, especially those related to the hotel and leisure industry, experience the biggest losses. On the other hand, industry is advancing at a steady rhythm as international trade is reactivated.
In the US, the perspectives appear to indicate that the economy will register positive growth in Q4 2020, in spite of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases. In this context, the Fed has improved its growth forecasts and has announced that it will maintain its stimulus policy until there are improvements in employment and inflation reaches the target levels in the medium- to long-term (most likely at the end of 2022).
In the Eurozone, where restrictions have been tighter, a new contraction in GDP in Q4 is expected. Also, the outlook for Q1 2021 indicates that economic activity will not experience any significant growth, in spite of the vaccination campaigns in place by a variety of governments in member states.
In emerging economies, although a slight recovery is expected due to the reactivation of trade and the increase in prices for raw materials, different levels of performance can be observed. China, with the spread of the virus under control, is the country with the best economic data among the main powers. Other Asian economies such as Taiwan or Vietnam forecast annual growth rates close to 2% for 2020. On the other hand, India’s economy has slumped, with a decrease of -7.4%. In South America, the lack of control caused by the pandemic has added to several structural issues that are dragging down some economies (high levels of debt and unemployment), all of which is conditioning future recovery.