ECB's Lagarde says the worst of the coronavirus crisis has likely passed, but recovery will be a 'complicated matter'

REUTERS/Yuri GripasInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde gestures as she arrives at a G-24 meeting during 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013.

Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, warned that while the world may be past the worst of the coronavirus crisis, a recovery will likely not be straightforward.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about the “sharpest, deepest recession,” but “we are probably past the lowest point,” Lagarde said Friday during the online Northern Lights Summit, adding that “we are moving towards a recovery.”

Still, Lagarde cautioned that a recovery might not be as swift and strong as some hope. “The recovery is going to be a complicated matter. I would characterise it as sequential, and restrained,” she said.

The ECB estimates that euro area gross domestic product slumped 16% in the first half of 2020, but expects a second-half rebound to drive positive growth in 2021.

But even if growth returns in the coming years, Lagarde doesn’t think that the world will return to the status quo anytime soon as the recovery will be “incomplete, and it might transformational.”

Read more:
A high-growth fund manager is tripling her peers’ returns in 2020 while targeting non-tech industries like beer and restaurants. She breaks down how she picked out 5 of the most innovative companies.

“The airline industries, the hospitality industries, the entertainment industries are going to come out of that recovery process in a different shape, and some of them will probably be hurt irremediably,” said Lagarde. She added that trade will likely be significantly reduced.

During the crisis and the recovery, special attention should be paid to the poorest people in the world, the poorest countries, youth, and women, according to Lagarde.

“We are clearly seeing that the most vulnerable and the most fragile are going to be the most exposed and those probably suffering the deepest scars,” she said.

Her hope is that the pandemic will help the world shift what it values to pay more attention to women, the environment, and those who are more likely to be affected by the crisis than others.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.