Economic Outlook Seen Brightening but Dangers Remain

PARIS (AP) -- The world economy will bounce back to its pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year, a global watchdog predicted Tuesday, though that recovery will be uneven across the countries and big risks remain.

In a wide-ranging report on the economy, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that progress on coronavirus vaccines means that the outlook has improved for the first time since the pandemic began.

“The road ahead is brighter, but challenging,” wrote Laurence Boone, chief economist at the OECD, in the report.

It predicts the global economy will shrink about 4.2% this year and rebound by the same rate in 2021 before growing 3.7% the following year.

China, which has brought its virus infections under control better than many major economies, will account for a big part of that economic recovery, while Europe, Japan and the U.S. will lag, the OECD said.

The organization, which advises countries on economic policy, said that governments should continue to support people who have been hit hardest by the pandemic and the restrictions on public life and businesses.

It recommends investing public money in areas that deliver long-term benefits like health care, education, reducing inequality and fighting climate change. Global cooperation is sorely needed to maximize the impact of government efforts to bring the economy back to health.

“International cooperation has faltered in recent years, just when it was needed more than ever,” Boone said.