IMF chief says more vaccinations can help tame inflation

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INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said vaccinating the world will help ensure that higher inflation proves temporary, and expressed concern that the growth gap between advanced and emerging economies could spur social unrest.

To push inflation back down, Ms. Georgieva urged a “focus on reducing this divergence: vaccinate the world, vaccinate the world so we can see production everywhere stepping up.”

“If the divergence continues, we are going to see more unrest,” Ms. Georgieva said in an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua from the COP26 conference in Glasgow, reiterating widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 as a solution.

Supply-chain disruptions are likely to extend into mid-2022 or beyond, which is putting upward pressure on prices, and central banks are already starting to take action against inflation, Ms. Georgieva said.

Separately, Ms. Georgieva faces employee discontent at the IMF following allegations that she improperly influenced data in China’s favor while at the World Bank in 2017 — a scandal that forced her to fight to keep her job last month — and a Bloomberg News report that she and other top managers softened language on climate change in a Brazil report.

Asked if she worries about her credibility with IMF employees, Ms. Georgieva responded that “staff was and continues to be concerned.”

“That is not a minor issue, whether we have full integrity of the work we do,” she said. “Fortunately in the fund yes, we have respect for the quality of our report. I have engaged with the staff, we had two town hall meetings. I have answered many questions people have on their mind, and of course I will continue to do so.” — Bloomberg