The global economy is expected to expand 4% in 2021, with China's economy expected to expand by 7.9% this year, World Bank said on Tuesday, assuming an initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout becomes widespread throughout the year.
The near-term outlook remains highly uncertain, and in a downside scenario in which infections continue to rise and the rollout of a vaccine is delayed, global expansion may be limited to 1.6%. Meanwhile, in an upside scenario with successful pandemic control and a faster vaccination process, global growth could accelerate to nearly 5%. World Bank said.
The collapse in global economic activity in 2020 is estimated to have been slightly less severe than previously projected, mainly due to shallower contractions in advanced economies and a more robust recovery in China. In contrast, disruptions to activity in the majority of other emerging market and developing economies were more acute than expected.
In advanced economies, a nascent rebound stalled in the third quarter following a resurgence of infections, pointing to a slow and challenging recovery. Aggregate GDP in emerging market and developing economies, including China, is expected to grow 5% in 2021, after a contraction of 2.6% in 2020. China's economy is expected to expand by 7.9% this year following 2% growth last year, the WB predicted.
Although the global economy is growing again after a 4.3% contraction in 2020, the pandemic has caused a heavy toll of deaths and illness, plunged millions into poverty, and may depress economic activity and incomes for a prolonged period, the bank warned.
China's GDP grew 4.9% in the third quarter, bringing the growth in the first three quarters to 0.7% compared with a year ago. This is the first positive cumulative GDP growth since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, China's National Bureau of Statistics showed in October
Although the 4.9% is lower than the previously anticipated figure of 5.2%, forecasted by some institutions, it is widely regarded as a noteworthy achievement.