The International Monetary Fund is now forecasting a stronger economic recovery this year and next than was previously predicted.

The IMF has upgraded its global forecast compared with what it projected in January. Yet many major economies are still predicted to return to their pre-pandemic levels of activity only in late 2022.

In a blog on the forecasts, the IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath says a way out of the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is increasingly visible. Vaccinations, she said, are likely to bring recoveries forwards in many countries in 2021.

Nevertheless, Gopinath wrote she is concerned about how those recoveries are diverging.

Countries with slower vaccine rollouts, more limited support from economic policy, and those more reliant on tourism are likely to do less well, she said.

Developing countries, in particular, have less access to vaccines, and will also find it harder to finance economic and health policy actions, according to the IMF forecast.

The forecast highlighted that while China has already returned to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity, other emerging economies are not expected to do so until well into 2023.

The report says the cumulative losses in income per person over the period 2020 to 2022 are likely to be 20% for developing countries, compared with a less severe but still significant figure of 11% for the developed world.