Monday, 17 December, 2018

International Monetary Fund reviews Nigeria's growth projection downwards

Finance Minister Asad Umar says decision is taken after consulting leading economists Finance Minister Asad Umar says decision is taken after consulting leading economists
Priscilla Morrison | 12 October, 2018, 08:03

Even though the latest report of the International Monetary Fund predicts that global growth will remain steady this year, and in 2019, at last year's 3.7 percent expansion rate, the multilateral institution points to the writing on the wall for several emerging economies.

The body now expects the USA economy to grow at a rate of 2.5 percent in 2019, a 0.2 percentage point decline from its April estimates.

Trump has led the escalating trade war because of what he believes are bad policies he said have created an $800 billion US trade deficit.

The IMF forecasts US GDP growth this year of 2.9 per cent, slowing to 2.5 per cent in 2019 - which is 0.2 points slower than the July estimate - and to 1.8 per cent in 2020.

"We certainly hope we don't move in either direction of a trade war or a currency war".

Trump has levied or threatened tariffs on goods from economies around the world, notably China, but also on traditional allies such as the European Union.

The United States and China - the world's two biggest economies - are sparring over Beijing's aggressive effort to challenge American technological dominance.

The slowdown has been caused predominantly by the world's two largest economies - the United States and China - engaging an increasingly damaging trade war. "Going forward, the government is committed to taking decisive corrective adjustments to restore the economy on a path of stability and growth", stated the finance ministry.

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It also urged global regulators to keep in place measures taken since the financial crisis and both heighten supervision of market liquidity and raise the amount of capital banks have to set aside to cushion any downturn.

The fund kept its forecast for growth in the Chinese economy unchanged at 6.6 percent this year.

Mr Milesi-Ferretti noted Nigeria's (economic) growth of about 1.9 per cent this year to rise to about 2.3 in 2019, with South African economy, now in technical recession at only 0.8 per cent growth rate this year.

Some energy-rich emerging market countries have fared better due to higher oil prices, with Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation seeing forecast upgrades.

That's a significant downgrade from the IMF's assessment in April, when it projected a 3.9 percent growth rate.

It said that the composition of spending and revenues should be growth friendly and protect the most vulnerable.

"That said, risks could rise sharply, should pressures in emerging-market economies mount or if trade tensions escalate".

China's net worth has deteriorated to eight percent of GDP because of off-budget borrowing by local authorities and poor returns from powerful government-run businesses, the International Monetary Fund found. The scenario, which imagines a deep global recession, rising interest rates but collapsing stock and real estate prices, would see sovereign debt balloon by nine per cent but net worth dive by another 17 per cent, mainly because falling real estate prices would drag down the value of publicly owned structures.

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