WorldGuyana and Ireland, the countries most benefited from the pandemic crisis; ...

Guyana and Ireland, the countries most benefited from the pandemic crisis; Venezuela suffers the biggest blow


“Uneven recovery.” Economic reports have been repeating these two words for months when referring to the post-pandemic economic boom. With the figures in hand, the fear is justified: 51 of the 192 countries included in the economic perspectives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not be able to return by the end of next year to the GDP they had before the crisis. And some of them, like Venezuela —hit by economic paralysis long before the virus erupted— and Myanmar —backed by the political crisis and the coup d’état last January—, as well as two small jurisdictions in Asia (Macau) and Oceania ( Palau), will be far from the economic activity prior to the emergence of covid-19.

On the opposite side, Guyana, which already had a very positive growth trajectory since before the pandemic, thanks to an oil expansion that did not come to an end, and Ireland, where the exit from the crisis is bright (despite the enormous weight from the technological, pharmaceutical and financial sectors distorting the real data on well-being), are the two countries that will show the greatest expansion of GDP at the end of 2022. the Celtic tiger will have accumulated growth of 24%, while the rest of the eurozone was suffering the hardships of recession.

Among the larger economies, performance will be equally heterogeneous between 2020 and 2022. After two strong recovery exercises (this one and the next), three countries — Argentina, Ecuador and Thailand — will close next year without having managed to return yet. to pre-pandemic economic activity.

However, Spain must also be added to this list, if the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission, which have just postponed full recovery until 2023, are taken as a reference. the latest IMF figures at hand —published in October, and taken into account for the preparation of this information as they are the only ones that allow comparing all countries in the world—, Spain would have barely recovered its pre-pandemic GDP by the end of 2022 .

On the other hand, four nations of the emerging bloc — China, Turkey (despite the enormous uncertainty surrounding their economic policy and the collapse of their currency), Egypt and India — will be the ones that will make the most progress between 2019 and 2022: 17% , 15%, 13% and 10%, respectively. The last case, India, is especially paradigmatic as it is one of the countries that suffered most from the rigors of the sanitary and economic crisis in a bitter 2020. Brazil will have a recovery of 2.5%.

25 countries manage to reduce public debt in the pandemic

These are the exceptions to the general rule that seems set in stone since the beginning of the health crisis: 25 countries will end 2022 with less debt than they had when the virus buried any previous expectations. They are mostly countries in Asia and Africa, eminently poor and whose debt capacity to revive the economy was minimal. But there are also some curious names, like Qatar, an economy supported almost entirely by oil and gas dividends, and which is able to take advantage of the recent increase in fossil fuel prices to reduce its debt.

On the opposite side, the biggest increases in debt will take place in small Asian and American countries that were hit hard by the total drought of tourists at the start of the pandemic, and that therefore had to resort to the credit market almost as a last resort. Among the large countries, the biggest increases in debt occur in the United States and Spain, which will be the ones with the most liabilities to add (25 percentage points of GDP) to their already naturally high mountain of debt.

But your reasons are different. The American giant is taking credit to fund its ambitious fiscal stimulus plans, which will allow it not only to recover its pre-crisis GDP level but also to improve the growth path it exhibited before the pandemic. Spain because it will be the rich country that will take the longest to recover from the covid-19 coup. And indebtedness over GDP, it should not be forgotten, is a reason that increases the numerator —the accumulated debt— as much as the denominator falls —economic activity.

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