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Chief Economists Outlook 2021

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The approval of several COVID-19 vaccines in late 2020 has brightened public health and economic prospects for 2021. Yet, prior to the onset of the pandemic, the global economy already had a fragile growth outlook, with social tensions over the evident polarization of economic outcomes and high levels of uncertainty. At this critical juncture, policymakers need to look beyond reviving the old economy and instead shift towards a thriving global economy—where growth is revived, social justice more fully realized, and the climate crisis averted.

Based on consultations and surveys with the World Economic Forum’s Community of Chief Economists, this edition of the quarterly Chief Economists Outlook lays out the key drivers shaping the current context, the policy pathways that could shape the global economy this year, and the resulting expected outlook for 2021.