Omicron’s impact to depend on curbs, policy support’

The economic impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on emerging economies will depend on a mix of government restrictions, public comfort with social interactions, and capacity of governments and central banks to provide additional policy support to the private sector, Moody’s Investors Service said on Wednesday.

The emergence of the new variant poses new risks to the global economic growth and inflation outlook, as concerns mount about the variant’s health risks and several countries have imposed new travel restrictions in recent days.These restrictions will likely increase over the coming weeks until scientists learn more about the variant, it said.

Continued progress in global vaccination efforts and public compliance with the use of tools such as masks and social distancing will be important factors in determining the economic impact of the new variant. Countries with an assured supply of effective vaccines and delivery systems, and high levels of vaccine acceptance by the public, will remain better positioned, Moody’s said.