Gita Gopinath, chief economist of the IMF: “We will not return to the pre-crisis level quickly”

INTERVIEW – For this professor from Havard, the recovery will be long. Some countries will have to restructure their debt.

By Armelle Bohineust and Fabrice Nodé-Langlois
Gita Gopinath believes that
Gita Gopinath believes that “
will not return to pre-crisis levels quickly ” (here in Santiago de Chile in July 2019)
Rodrigo Garrido / REUTERS

Gita Gopinath, an Indian-American born in Kerala 48 years ago, a Harvard professor, has been the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2019.

Le Figaro. – In April, you estimated the contraction of world GDP in 2020 at 3%. Will you revise your forecasts?

Gita GOPINATH. – Our latest data is that on June 24 we will likely revise our forecast down. If you look at the figures for the first quarter, in many countries the contraction in consumption was very strong, more than expected. Households have really reduced their spending. Another factor comes into play: as long as there is no medical solution, vaccine or effective treatment, the fear of a possible second wave will persist and there will be no guarantee of a return to the normal.

In France, will you also lower your forecasts?

We forecast in April -7.5% in 2020 for the euro zone and -7.2% for France. In France as in

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