The COVID-19 pandemic will cast a long shadow and raises uncertainty over the world’s economies. This issue of the OECD Economic Outlook analyses the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy and puts forward projections for output, employment, prices, fiscal and current account balances.
Vaccination campaigns, concerted health policies and government financial support are expected to lift global GDP by 4.2% in 2021 after a fall of 4.2% this year. The recovery would be stronger if vaccines are rolled out fast, boosting confidence and lowering uncertainty. Delays to vaccination deployment, difficulties controlling new virus outbreaks and failure to learn lessons from the first wave would weaken the outlook. The bounce-back will be strongest in the Asian countries that have brought the virus under control but even by the end of 2021, many economies will have shrunk from 2019 levels before the pandemic.