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Emerging Markets: Returning To Pre-Pandemic GDP Is Only Part Of The Recovery Story

May 06, 2021

A great deal of the focus on the economic recovery from the COVID-19 downturn has been on when output returns to its pre-pandemic level. However, in our view, not enough attention has been paid to the macroeconomic health of economies once they return to those real GDP levels, and in the following years. In some emerging market (EM) economies where output recovers faster, debt and external metrics worsen more than in EMs with slower recoveries, which could have negative implications for economic growth down the line. Focusing on the single GDP metric does not tell the whole story of EM economic recoveries from the pandemic. Here we look at the recoveries of 16 major EMs we cover (EM-16). Brazil, India, Poland, Thailand, and Turkey are examples of EMs that outperform in terms of the return to their pre-pandemic real GDP, but have debt or external metrics that have worsened more than those of their EM peers.

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