SINGAPORE (Apr 3): Economists are serving up a menu of alphabet soup in trying to forecast the world economy’s recovery from what is set to be the deepest recession since at least 2009 — and perhaps since World War II.

A V-shaped recovery, in which the rebound is as swift as the slump, was the favoured trajectory early on, but now more are starting to worry about a U-shaped one. The most pessimistic are looking at global growth tracing an L or a W — or a more mangled path that bears little resemblance to Roman letters.

“There is a complex relationship between the path of the virus, the effectiveness of virus containment and economic support policies, and the behaviour of the private sector,” JPMorgan Chase & Co economists, led by Bruce Kasman, said in a report to clients. “Consequently, there is enormous uncertainty about the path ahead, bringing to mind the adage ‘forecasting is hard, especially the future’.”

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