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Emerging Markets Monthly Highlights: Long Road Ahead, Despite The Year’s Promising Start

June 10, 2021

Q1 GDP reports surprised to the upside in most emerging markets (EMs), but renewed lockdowns in several countries will likely dampen Q2 activity and afterwards. Surprisingly upbeat growth pace mostly stemmed from a stronger-than-expected domestic demand, and in many cases, from better-than-expected performance of services. Economic activity continues to benefit from stimulus measures in most EMs, but also from households and businesses that are adapting to pandemic-related trends. However, several EM economies implemented new lockdowns in late Q1 - early Q2, which are likely to restrict domestic activity. Progress in vaccination is key in maintaining the economic recovery’s momentum. In order to prevent “on-and-off” lockdown measures and return to operating at full capacity, a wider vaccination rollout is necessary across most EMs. Fully vaccinating roughly 70% of the populations will likely take at least until 2022 in most EMs amid the current vaccination pace.