IMF chief says ‘too early to say’ if world facing sustained inflation

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The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it was “too early” to say if the world was facing a period of sustained inflation, but warned that failure to make economies more resilient to future shocks could lead to big problems.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters that global policymakers need to carefully calibrate their fiscal and monetary policies in 2022 to factor in varying country-specific conditions, including inflation and the space for additional fiscal support.

Unlike the first year of the pandemic in 2020, when finance ministers and central bankers coordinated and synchronized their actions, circumstances varied widely now across the world, and that required more “specificity” in responses, she said.

Georgieva said the COVID-19 pandemic remained the biggest risk facing the global economy, and it was imperative to step up efforts to increase vaccination rates in low-income countries, and meet a global target of vaccinating 70% of people in countries around the world by mid-2022.