A powerful recovery in the U.S., primed by massive government spending and a rapid vaccine rollout, is already rippling around the world, brightening the economic prospects for countries closely tied to the American economy.
But economists say the coming U.S. boom could presage a two-speed recovery from the extraordinary economic downturn of the past year, a schism that threatens to open fissures in the global economy.
While lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions hit many economies last year in roughly equal measure, early evidence shows that the exit from the pandemic could be greatly lopsided.
Rich countries and some export-driven economies are already enjoying the early fruits of successful vaccine campaigns and resurgent growth.
Instead, poor nations are seeing nascent signs of capital outflows being lured to rich countries. Meanwhile, those countries face a long wait for vaccines and some are suffering fresh Covid-19 waves that leave them cut off from the travel and tourism flows that have supported their economies in recent years.