The conflict in Ukraine and massive sanctions against Russia have triggered a contraction in global trade, sending food and energy prices sharply higher, which will force the International Monetary Fund to lower its global growth forecast next month, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday.
The global lender had already lowered its economic forecasts for the United States, China and the global economy in January, citing risks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, supply disruptions and US monetary tightening.
At the time, it projected global economic growth would reach 4.4% this year, a downgrade of 0.5 percentage points.
Georgieva told reporters the unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine had caused an abrupt contraction of the Russian economy and it faced a “deep recession” this year.
She said a default by Russia on its debt was no longer seen as “improbable.”
She gave no detailed forecast for Russia or the global economy.
She said the IMF had no programme or policy relations with Russia at this point and its Moscow office was not operating.Members have condemned the war, which Russia calls a special military operation, but there has been no discussion about ending Russia’s membership in the global lender.
Georgieva added that it was “highly, highly, highly improbable” that Russia would be able to find a central bank to exchange its IMF Special Drawing Rights into currencies.