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Global Economic Downturn Ahead?

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The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on national economies around the world. In contrast to its January 2020 forecast of sizeable global economic growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) now predicts a 3 percent reduction in global economic output (New York Times, April 14, 2020). In fact, the IMF recently warned that “the world is facing its worst downturn since the Great Depression as shuttered factories, quarantines and national lockdowns cause economic output to collapse.” Economists had predicted a “V-shaped” economic recovery once quarantines are lifted—basically a quick bounce back. But now, most economists agree that the economic recovery will be long and slow (“U-shaped”)—possibly taking years, and perhaps more than a decade in some cases.

In the United States, a senior economic advisor to the White House predicts that GDP “could fall at an annualized rate of 30% in the next quarter. Goldman Sachs expects a 15% unemployment rate in the US by mid-year, up from 4.4% at present” (The Guardian, April 29, 2020). In Europe, numerous experts expect an economic contraction of 7.5 to 8 percent this year (MSN, April 30, 2020). Germany expects this recession to be the worst since World War II!

Recessions come periodically, as do events or actions that help pull nations out of a recession. Ultimately, Bible prophecies reveal that a political and economic superpower will arise in Europe at the end of the age, bringing great wealth and trade to the world—so much so, that when this economic superpower crumbles after a few short years, the whole world will mourn its destruction (Revelation 18:1–13). Students of Bible prophecy should watch for an economic revival led by certain nations in Europe. To learn more about coming events in Europe, read or listen to our booklet The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?