CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-IMF sees severe impact from pandemic on global economy, but crisis temporary

(Corrects third paragraph to show more action may be needed, not more THAN needed, reflecting official IMF correction of podcast transcript)

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – The impact of the global coronavirus pandemic will be “quite severe,” but a long expansionary period and high employment rates mean the global economy should weather the current shock, a top International Monetary Fund official said on Friday.

Martin Muehleisen, who heads the IMF’s strategy policy and review department, said in an IMF podcast that the main goal for governments should be to limit the spread of the virus in a way that provides confidence that economic shock will be temporary.

He said banks and governments have taken unprecedented measures to provide liquidity to markets and keep them functioning, “and maybe more will be needed,” but such steps should be coordinated internationally to amplify their effect. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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