IMF director Kristalina Georgieva says one-third of world economies are expected to be in recession this year.

This year will be tougher than 2022 for most of the global economy as the United States, European Union and China see slowing growth, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned.

IMF director Kristalina Georgieva said 2023 will be a “tough year” with a third of the world’s economies expected to be in recession.

“Why? Because the three major economies, [the] US, EU, China are all slowing down at the same time,” Georgieva said during an appearance on the CBS program “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

The comments come after the The IMF cut its global growth forecast to 2.7 percent in Octobera drop from the 2.9 percent forecast in July amid headwinds including the war in Ukraine and sharply rising interest rates.

Georgieva said China, the world’s second-largest economy, is likely to grow at or below global growth for the first time in 40 years as COVID-19 cases soar following the dismantling of its ultra-strict “zero COVID “-policy.

“That has never happened before. And when we look next year, the easing of COVID restrictions for three, four, five, six months will lead to wildfires all over China,” Georgieva said. “I was in China last week, in a bubble in the city where there is ‘zero COVID’. But that will not last if the Chinese start traveling.”

Georgieva said she expected China’s growth to improve by the end of the year, but there are concerns about the longer-term trajectory.

“Before COVID, China would deliver 34, 35, 40 percent of global growth. It doesn’t work anymore. It’s actually quite stressful for… the Asian economies. When I talk to Asian leaders, they all start by asking, ‘What’s going to happen to China? Will China return to a higher level of growth?’”

Meanwhile, the EU has been particularly hard hit by the war in Ukraine, with half of the bloc expected to be in recession this year, Georgieva said.

However, the IMF chief said the US economy stands out for its resilience and could outright avoid a contraction this year.

“The US is the most resilient. The US can avoid a recession,” she said.

“We see that the labor market remains quite strong. This is however [a] mixed blessing, because if the labor market is very strong, the Fed may have to keep rates tight longer to bring inflation down.”

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