Saturday, 15 December, 2018

International Monetary Fund downgrades outlook for U.S., China as result of trade war

IMF downgrades world economic outlook IMF upgrades forecast for Russia's growth to 1.8% in 2019
Priscilla Morrison | 11 October, 2018, 01:46

The country returned to a growth rate of 1.5 percent in 2017 after two years of decline.

"In the United States, momentum is still strong as fiscal stimulus continues to increase, but the forecast for 2019 has been revised down due to recently announced trade measures, including the tariffs imposed on $200 billion of US imports from China", IMF report said.

The global finance agency dropped its projection for world economic growth by two-tenths of a percentage point for both 2018 and 2019 to 3.7 percent, the first time it had trimmed its economic outlook in more than two years.

This acceleration, the world body said, reflected a rebound from transitory shocks (the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the national Goods and Services Tax), with strengthening investment and robust private consumption. Nigeria's growth is projected to increase from 0.8 per cent in 2017 to 1.9 per cent in 2018 and 2.3 per cent in 2019 (0.4 percentage point higher than in the April 2018 WEO for 2019), buoyed by the impact of recovering oil production and prices.

India's medium-term growth prospects remain strong at 7.75 per cent, benefiting from ongoing structural reform. The group recently downgraded global growth forecasts.

The financial market volatility will likely continue next year, because the US Federal Reserve, after raising the federal funds rate by 25 basis points in its September 26 meeting, nonetheless signaled another rate hike by the end of this year and maintained its projection for three rate hikes in 2019.

A decade since the economic crisis, while there has been an undeniable progress towards a safer global financial system, clouds appear on the horizon, the International Monetary Fund said in its latest fiscal stability report. It left its United States growth projection for this year at 2.9 per cent.

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The US growth forecast for 2019 is down from 2.7% to 2.5%.

The current account deficit widened 43 percent to $18 billion in the year that ended June 30, while the fiscal deficit ballooned to 6.6 percent.

"Priority areas in Russian Federation include improving property rights and governance, enhancing the institutional infrastructure, reforming labor markets, and investing in innovation and infrastructure", the report added.

The IMF also risks associated with high corporate debt, rising nonperforming loans and too much public debt overall.

'A sharp tightening of global financial conditions could be triggered by a further escalation of trade tensions or by a sudden shift in risk sentiment caused by rising geopolitical risks or policy uncertainty in major economies'.

"In some advanced economies, some investors have grown overly confident and even possibly even complacent", Tobias Adrian, director of the IMF's monetary and capital-markets department, told reporters in Washington before the release of the report.

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