IMF chief says coronavirus might warrant coordinated economic response

BERLIN – The head of the International Monetary Fund said global central banks and governments may need to unite to fight the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

“From our perspective, it is very important to follow carefully what is going to happen in the next weeks,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday (Feb 14) on a panel at a security conference in Munich.

“There needs to be bottom-up analysis of the impact so we can then agree on synchronised, or even better, coordinated measures to protect the world economy from a more serious shock.”

“Are we going to do it? I actually think that we will, because when we are pushed we actually come together,” she said.

HSBC Holdings Plc this week became the latest bank to cut its outlook for global growth, reducing it to 2.3 per cent from 2.5 per cent.

Central bankers and governments from the Group of 20 are scheduled to meet next week in Saudi Arabia.

While the People’s Bank of China has provided liquidity and counterparts in the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia have cut interest rates, most major central banks have signalled an alertness to the virus yet not signalled an intention to ease.

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