Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The world is in desperate need of cooperation and unity to pull out of the coronavirus pandemic and begin what the IMF has termed the "long, difficult ascent" right as its leaders are increasingly focused on nationalism and decoupling.

Driving the news: The IMF raised its 2020 global growth outlook, largely because of improved expectations for China, but cut its longer-term forecast, citing slower growth. Policymakers expressed worries about a number of "setbacks" that could hobble its diminished forecast with potentially significant "scarring" in the long term.

  • "The scarring is expected to compound forces that dragged productivity growth lower across many economies in the years leading up to the pandemic — relatively slow investment growth weighing on physical capital accumulation, more modest improvements in human capital, and slower efficiency gains in combining technology with factors of production," IMF leaders said in the latest World Economic Outlook.
  • "The uncertainty surrounding the baseline projection is unusually large."

What we're hearing: "I worry most about withdrawing support to workers and firms prematurely because it could cause a wave of bankruptcies and massive increase in unemployment," IMF head Kristalina Georgieva said during a media briefing Wednesday.

  • "We are advising all governments, 'Do as much as you can, don’t cut financial lifelines too early.'"

By the numbers: Already, the World Bank has warned the pandemic will push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021.

The big picture: Without global leadership on the issue from either of the world's two largest economies, the IMF and World Bank have attempted to fill the void but are already far overextended for a crisis that is just beginning in much of the developing world.

  • Since March, the IMF has provided "10 times" as much economic support to the world's developing countries as it does in a normal year, Georgieva said.
  • The Fund is calling for multilateral efforts to reduce the debt held by developing countries, an effort that has so far fallen on mostly deaf ears in China and at asset management firms in the U.S. and Europe.

The bottom line: For many countries, the immediate shock and bounce that has followed over the past few months has been the light work.

  • Now comes "the really hard part of the recovery," Brian Coulton, chief economist at Fitch Ratings, said during a presentation for the Institute of International Finance's annual meeting Tuesday.
  • "We’ve got another 18 months ahead, at least."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Dec 24, 2020 - Health

2020 was bad — but not nearly the worst

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2020 will go down in infamy for all the obvious reasons, but history shows it doesn't actually rank among humanity's worst years.

Why it matters: The past is a foreign country, and that goes doubly so the deeper we dig. Understanding just how far we've come from the years when life was nasty, brutal and short can help us put the pain of 2020 in perspective, and appreciate the progress we need to defend.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.