Economy

IMF says coronavirus crisis requires 'wartime' policy response

Key Points
  • Global policymakers must enact "wartime" measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the IMF said.
  • The IMF predicted the "war" phase of the pandemic will endure "at least" one to two quarters.
  • The success of policy measures from governments will determine how quickly the economy can recover once the spread of the virus is contained, the IMF said.
The seal of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) is seen outside of the headquarters building in Washington, DC on April 8, 2019.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Global policymakers must enact "wartime" measures for households, businesses and the financial sector to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday.

The IMF said governments should mobilize to provide key supplies to the health sector, cash transfers to individuals who lost their jobs and "exceptional support" like wage subsidies to private companies.

"If policies ensure that workers do not lose their jobs, renters and homeowners are not evicted, companies avoid bankruptcy, and business and trade networks are preserved, the recovery will occur sooner and more smoothly," the IMF said.

It said "greater intervention from the public sector" is warranted while the pandemic lasts. The agency predicts the "war" phase of the pandemic will endure "at least" one to two quarters.

Governments around the world are taking extreme steps to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in more than 40,000 deaths globally as of Wednesday. according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Last week, Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package to fight the pandemic in the U.S. Some economists warn additional stimulus could be required as hundreds of millions of Americans remain on lockdown.

The IMF said the magnitude and success of policy measures from governments will determine how quickly the economy can recover once the spread of the virus is contained.

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