Friday, 19 April, 2019

‘Delicate moment’: IMF’s Gita Gopinath warns of weaker global growth

US-ECONOMY-IMF The International Monetary Fund said the German economy will now grow just 0.8 per cent in 2019
Priscilla Morrison | 10 April, 2019, 05:10

The global lender's semi-annual World Economic Report pointed to the U.S.

The WEO noted 3.3 percent expansion is "still reasonable", but warned the outlook for many countries is still "challenging" given the potential for trade disputes to flare up. -China trade tensions, problems in Germany's auto sector, uncertainty around Brexit and financial vulnerabilities in advanced economies.

The 198 report put together by the research department of the IMF looks at the global economy, opportunities, threats as well as reviewing the economics 189 members of the Fund.It is based on historical data and projection based on information picked up by IMF country desk offices in the contest of their mission to the member countries. The world engaged in co-ordinated fiscal stimulus to counter the 2008 financial crisis.

"Industrial production figures and surveys of purchasing managers suggest that the slower momentum in global growth during the second half of 2018 is likely to continue in early 2019", the global lender said. The Hindu spoke with Ms Gopinath on how Central Bank independence had factored into the short and medium term forecasts.

This puts the IMF's growth projections slightly lower than what was recently published by the SA Reserve Bank. More than two-thirds of the expected slowdown in 2019 owes to trouble in rich nations. Despite looming deadlines, London has not decided how it will try to shield its economy during the exit process.

The IMF revised its global economic growth forecast for 2019 from 3.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent, citing ongoing trade uncertainty.

While there's increasing hope that trade issues could be resolved, the International Monetary Fund said the "risks are tilted to the downside".

The prediction of deeper pain for Iran, lower oil growth and civil strife saw the International Monetary Fund cut its overall forecast for the Middle East and North Africa to 1.3 percent, down 0.9 percent from January. The prospect of Britain's messy departure from the European Union also weighs on the global economy.

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Elsewhere, natural disasters hurt activity in Japan.

The US economy, while seen outperforming other rich nations, also got a downgrade on signs that a fiscal stimulus fueled by tax cuts was producing less activity than previously expected.

What is the IMF Global Economic Outlook report?

The EU's economic growth is already slowing substantially, and the slowdown accounted for much of the reduction in the global growth forecast. China is projected to grow at 6.3% and 6.1% in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

"We expect a growth recovery, growth was reasonably strong a year ago and we think that things will improve a bit going forward".

The IMF raised its forecast for USA growth in 2020 by a tenth of a percentage point to 1.9%. -China trade war had not materialized.

U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports are hitting Chinese growth and also weighing on Latin America and other areas dependent on Chinese demand for commodities.

Canada is barely addressed in the text of the report, although it did note that the country would be one of the biggest beneficiaries if the US continues to apply tariffs to products from China. China responded with retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

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