The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said that it predicts the global coronavirus pandemic will cause an economic downturn on par with the 2008 global recession.
“First, the outlook for global growth: for 2020 it is negative — a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse," IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement after a call with Group of 20 (G-20) large-economy nations finance officials.
Georgieva added that the organization expects an economic rebound in 2021, but emphasized that it is "paramount to prioritize containment and strengthen health systems — everywhere."
"The faster the virus stops, the quicker and stronger the recovery will be," she explained.
The statement came after an emergency call was held between the economic heads of the G-20 nations to discuss the ramifications of the virus, Business Insider reported.
Congressional lawmakers are expected to finalize the U.S.'s third coronavirus stimulus package on Tuesday. The negotiated bill is thought to be around $2 trillion dollars.
The IMF said in its statement that it strongly supports "the extraordinary fiscal actions many countries have already taken to boost health systems and protect affected workers and firms."
"These bold efforts are not only in the interest of each country, but of the global economy as a whole. Even more will be needed, especially on the fiscal front," Georgieva said.
The statement said that nearly 80 countries have asked the IMF for emergency financial help as the virus continues to spread globally.