By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund will release its World Economic Outlook on January 25, a week later than expected, to take into account the latest developments related to COVID-19, a spokesperson for the lender said on Tuesday worldwide, amid signs of another downgrade is coming.

“The update to the Global Economic Outlook will be launched on January 25 to allow our teams to incorporate the latest developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic into economic forecasts,” the spokesperson said.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters last month that he expected the update on January 19.

Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told the Reuters Next conference last month that the IMF was likely to downgrade its projections for global economic growth in January to reflect the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In October, the IMF predicted global economic growth of 5.9% in 2021 and 4.9% this year, while highlighting the uncertainty posed by new variants of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus has killed nearly 5.8 million people around the world in the past two years.

Economists expect the IMF to cut its economic forecast for the United States, the world’s largest economy, given the rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, as well as Congress’ failure to adopt the program. $ 1.2 trillion in social and climate spending from US President Joe Biden. .

In October, it had already cut its forecast for U.S. gross domestic product growth in 2021 by a full percentage point to 6%, citing supply chain disruptions and a labor shortage , while forecasting growth of 5.2% in 2022.

Since then, the pandemic has escalated again and divisions in Congress have deepened.

The United States on Monday set a world record of nearly one million new coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters tally, and its daily average totaled 486,000 cases over the past week, a rate higher than that of any other country.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; additional reporting by David Lawder)