The International Monetary Fund has revised upwards its forecast for growth in the world's economy this year, based on the rollout of vaccines and financial support packages deployed by governments. 

In an update to its World Economic Outlook published today, the IMF predicts the world's economy, in GDP terms, will grow by 5.5% this year, up 0.3% on its forecasts made last year.  

It believes growth last year fell by 3.5% which is an improvement on its earlier forecasts for a fall of 4.4%. This was due to recovery across several economies in the second half of 2020.  

The IMF noted a "severe collapse" in certain sectors last year which had its most acute adverse impact on women, younger workers, the poor and casually employed, particularly in contact-intensive industries like tourism.  

It also said it believes the strength of recovery will vary across countries and has "lingering concerns" about renewed lockdowns and logistical problems with the delivery of vaccines. 

A strong multilateral effort is required to bring the pandemic under control everywhere, the IMF said.

It urged countries to commit funding to the WHO's COVAX programme, which aims to bring vaccines at affordable prices to developing nations. 

The IMF predicted that oil prices will rise this year by 20% off their low point in 2020 and that global trade volumes will increase by 8%, with slower growth in services.

But it warned that its forecasts are still bounded by "exceptional uncertainty" related to the ongoing pandemic.