The IMF calls for fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on the economy



"Given the wide scope of the epidemic in many countries, the broad cross-border economic ties and the effects on economic activity and on financial and commodity markets, the need for a coordinated international response is clear," explained the IMF chief economist, Gita Gopinath, on the agency's blog.

Specifically, the Washington-based institution has proposed that governments could help businesses affected by supply chain disruptions through cash transfers, salary subsidies or tax incentives. For Gopinath, this "would help people meet their needs and businesses to stay afloat."

Likewise, the economist has also proposed to temporarily improve unemployment benefits for the dismissed as a result of the viral outbreak, either by increasing its duration, increasing its benefits or lowering the requirements to access such aid.

"Central banks should be prepared to provide ample liquidity to banks and non-bank financial companies," Gopinath added.

Among the monetary policies that could be carried out, the IMF has cited interest rate cuts or asset purchases, which would serve to "raise confidence" and to support financial markets if there is a "clear risk" of tightening of financial conditions.

The institution led by Kristalina Georgieva last week mobilized a package of 50,000 million dollars (45,000 million euros) aimed at helping poor and emerging countries to combat the expansion of the coronavirus.

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