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The Year Ahead

More Vaccinations, More Stimulus, More Sanity: A Guide to 2021

The economic outlook is starting to brighten, but the world still needs a shot in the arm.

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As the coronavirus spread beyond China last spring, forecasters abruptly added two percentage points to their growth predictions for 2021. It was as if they had turned into a chorus of red-headed Orphan Annies singing, “I love ya, tomorrow.”

Their upgrades didn’t signify optimism, though. They were a consequence of the downturn the forecasters were expecting for 2020. With a deep recession as the new baseline, the partial rebound they anticipated would represent a big year-over-year percentage increase in output.