The World Bank is upgrading the outlook for global growth this year, predicting that COVID-19 vaccinations and massive government stimulus in rich countries will power the fastest worldwide expansion in nearly five decades.
In its latest Global Economic Prospects report out Tuesday, the 189-country anti-poverty agency forecasts that the world economy will grow 5.6 percent this year, up from the 4.1 percent forecasted in January.
The global economy last year shrank as the pandemic disrupted trade and forced businesses to close and people to stay home.
The projected expansion would make 2021 the fastest year of growth since 1973.
But the bank predicts the 2021 rebound will be uneven and led by rich countries such as the United States that can afford to spend vast amounts of taxpayers’ money to support their economies.
The World Bank is therefore calling for wider distribution of COVID vaccines to low-income countries, where inoculations have gone slowly.