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World Bank Group President Ajay Banga listens during the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meetings at the IMF and World Bank’s 2024 annual Spring Meetings in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2024.

REUTERS/Ken Cedeno

The big challenges facing the IMF and World Bank

As the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings wrap up Friday in Washington, the two crucial global lenders face a few important challenges in the year ahead. GZERO has been on the ground to bring you the big takeaways.

A tale of two recoveries. The IMF’s global economic outlook is fairly rosy as a whole. Inflation is easing in the US and Europe, and 3.2% growth of global GDP is a respectable clip – especially given recent fears of a recession. The US and Chinese economies are both growing, even if Beijing is still struggling with persistent debt and property market woes.

But the recovery has yet to reach every corner of the globe. One-third of the lowest-income countries are poorer today than in 2019, before the pandemic. And because inflation has pushed up interest rates, the costs of servicing sovereign debt have skyrocketed, an especially heavy burden for lower-income countries. Bringing financial stability to these fragile situations is a key focus for the IMF and the World Bank.

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