The renewed surge in Covid-19 infections is threatening to further divide the world economy between the rich and poor, potentially damaging overall global growth if the fresh outbreaks spread or if key sources of demand falter.
More people were diagnosed with Covid-19 last week than any other since the pandemic began. The World Health Organization this week warned that new infections are increasing everywhere except Europe, led by rocketing numbers in India with cases also rising in Argentina, Turkey and Brazil.
That’s casting a shadow over a previously vigorous global economic rebound given that failure to control the virus or get vaccines distributed evenly risks driving new mutations, first in emerging markets and then on to developed nations that had been beating the pandemic back.
Even if that doesn’t happen, a two-speed recovery will restrain even inoculated countries by limiting foreign demand for their goods and destabilizing supply chains. The International Monetary Fund said last month that the recovery will miss out on a $9 trillion bump by 2025 unless faster progress is made in ending the health crisis.