Europe and Central Asia Economic Update

eca-update-apr-2022-engThe Russian Federation’s war with Ukraine has triggered a catastrophic humanitarian crisis and threatened the stability of geopolitical relations. Economic output in the Europe and Central Asia region is forecast to contract by more than 4.1% in 2022—the second major shock and regional recession in two years. Moreover, the war has added to mounting concerns of a sharp global growth slowdown. The economic impact of the conflict has reverberated through multiple global channels, including commodity and financial markets, trade and migration links, and confidence. Neighboring countries in the Europe and Central Asia region are likely to suffer considerable economic damage because of their strong trade, financial, and migration links with Ukraine and Russia. Pandemic disruptions amid rising COVID-19 cases in some major economies have contributed to financial and commodity market volatility, and could ultimately weigh on global growth prospects. The war has also raised the likelihood of a destabilizing wave of refugees, widespread financial stresses among some emerging and developing economies, a de-anchoring of inflation expectations, and food insecurity. A protracted conflict is likely to heighten policy uncertainty and fragment global trade and investment networks. Policy makers need to ensure that they are better prepared to handle future crises as part of a commitment to a comprehensive approach to bolster resilient, inclusive, and green development. They should fortify their macroeconomic policy buffers and institutions to strengthen stability; promote an inclusive and more equal recovery by strengthening their social protection systems to protect the most vulnerable, including the refugees; and keep their focus on improving energy efficiency and green transition to secure a sustainable future.