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International Monetary Fund
The global coronavirus outbreak is a crisis like no other and poses daunting challenges for policymakers in many emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs), especially where the pandemic encounters weak public health systems, capacity constraints, and limited policy space to mitigate the outbreak’s repercussions. A severe economic impact in the first half of 2020 is inevitable. Medium-term projections are clouded by uncertainty regarding the pandemic’s magnitude and speed of propagation, as well as the longer-term impact of measures to contain the outbreak, such as travel bans and social distancing. However, most EMDEs are already suffering from disruptions to global value chains, lower foreign direct investment, capital outflows, tighter financing conditions, lower tourism and remittances receipts, and price pressures for some critical imports such as foods and medicines. Commodity exporters have to absorb, in addition, a sharp decline in export prices, notably for oil. Further, in most countries, the coronavirus outbreak is producing unanticipated health spending needs and revenue losses as activity slows. Coping with these challenges is especially difficult for countries with limited administrative capacity, tight external financing constraints and/or already high debt levels, and thus requires substantial support from the international community.
International Monetary Fund

The global coronavirus outbreak is a crisis like no other and poses daunting challenges for policymakers in many emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs), especially where the pandemic encounters weak public health systems, capacity constraints, and limited policy space to mitigate the outbreak’s repercussions. A severe economic impact in the first half of 2020 is inevitable. Medium-term projections are clouded by uncertainty regarding the pandemic’s magnitude and speed of propagation, as well as the longer-term impact of measures to contain the

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2020 Article IV Consultation with Belgium highlights that economic activity has held up relatively well over the last year, but the outlook is clouded by unusual uncertainty and risks. The coronavirus outbreak is expected to reduce growth this year, and the outlook is highly uncertain and subject to risks, including more widespread and damaging effects of the coronavirus, escalating trade tensions, a sharper euro-area growth slowdown, and prolonged domestic political gridlock. Policies should focus on addressing the coronavirus outbreak in the near term and rebuilding resilience and addressing structural challenges in the medium run. The immediate policy priority is to contain the spread and damaging effects of the coronavirus through targeted temporary support measures to affected firms and individuals, while ensuring that the healthcare system has adequate resources to address the crisis. Reversing the declining trend in productivity growth is essential to support higher standards of living and safeguard fiscal sustainability. Thus, reform efforts would need to focus on reducing red tape for start-ups, lowering regulatory barriers to competition in key sectors, supporting access to venture capital for innovative firms, and boosting public investment in infrastructure, fiscal space permitting.