The IMF says it is gathering data to assess the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China, but hopes to see a ‘V-shaped’ recovery, according to remarks made by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaking in a press briefing.

The IMF has begun to make a full assessment of the impact on the global economy but new data is still coming, the bank said.

“We are still at the point of quite a lot of uncertainty. So I would talk about scenarios rather than projections,” she said.

Georgieva said that the “likely scenario” now is for a quick recovery of China’s economy as factories gear back up to make up for lost time and warehouses are re-supplied.

“In terms of scenarios, the more most likely scenario we now view is a V-shaped impact. In other words, sharp decline in economic activities in China, followed by a rapid recovery and a total impact on China relatively contained. Therefore, impact on the world economy is also contained,” she said.

The coronavirus has already claimed more than 1,000 victims and has spread outside of China.

“We need to remember that there are uncertainties on the nature of this epidemic and on the way it is impacting sectors of the economies and value chains. We often make comparisons between SARS in the early 2000s and the Corona virus. We have to remember that the virus is different. China is different and the world economy is in a different place. This virus spreads differently than SARS and has already exceeded the number of people who lost their lives, in comparison to SARS,” said the IMF boss.

The SARS outbreak [in 2003] occurred at a time when China had a much smaller impact on the global economy, Georgieva added.

 “The Chinese economy is much more significant for the world. Then it was 8 percent of the world economy. Now it is 19 percent and it is much more integrated in Asia and with the rest of the world. Therefore, disruptions are more likely to cascade down to other countries.

“We expect to have more data based on the restart of factories and production in China within the next week to 10 days,” she said.

In a press briefing yesterday, Gerry Price – the IMF’s communications chief – said the economic impact of the coronavirus  will be felt most immediately in China. “And given China’s growing footprint in the global economy, it will also affect other countries, especially neighboring countries in Asia,” he said.

He added that the IMF strongly supports the efforts China has made to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact, including, economic measures and the recent fiscal monetary and financial actions over the medium- to long-term.

“We remain confident that China’s economy is resilient and it’s a large economy, China has the resources and the resolve to meet this challenge. Again, we are supportive, we think it’s helpful that the Chinese authorities are working closely with the WHO, World Health Organization and others,” he said.