International Monetary Fund raises Japan growth forecast, cuts global estimate due to trade tension

Christine Lagarde  International Monetary Fund  Flickr

Christine Lagarde International Monetary Fund Flickr

Released in Bali during the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the IMF's flagship World Economic Outlook said its 2019 growth projection for China is lower than in April, given the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, as are its projections for India.

The half-yearly Global Financial Stability Report released on Wednesday finds a 5 per cent probability that these emerging economies could see debt outflows of US$100 billion or more, representing 0.6 per cent of their combined GDP, over a period of four quarters.

While the IMF's outlook for the Chinese economy stayed at 6.6% this year, its forecast for next year of 6.2% represents the slowest growth rate the Asian country has seen since 1990.

It said, the prediction is lower due to recent increase in oil prices and the tightening of global financial conditions.

Finance Minister Asad Umar left for Indonesia on Monday night to participate in the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank at Bali, scheduled to run until October 12, and formally request a bailout programme, reports Dawn news.

The IMF has downgraded its forecast for global economic growth to 3.7 per cent this year from its earlier estimate of 3.9 per cent.

Finance ministers and central bankers from numerous IMF's 189 member nations are meeting in Bali this week where concerns about protectionism have taken centre stage - especially the escalating trade war between the United States and China.

The IMF chief economist said emerging economies were coping better than the developed ones, but their susceptibility to large global shocks has risen.

The IMF said that monetary policy normalisation and a stronger dollar in the United States has put pressure on the exchange rates in emerging economies like Brazil, India and South Africa, among others.

The head of the World Trade Organization warned that a "full-blown commercial war" could shrink global trade by almost 18 percent and also knock worldwide GDP, hurting the United States, China, and others.

The IMF in its World Economic Outlook 2018 noted that "Nigeria's projected economic growth in the sub-Sahara Africa from 3.1 percent this year to 3.8 percent in 2019 is not enough to create the needed jobs for the growing population of the region". "And we've canceled a couple of meetings because I say they're not ready to make a deal".

The Economic Counsellor and Director of Research Department at the IMF, Maurice Obstfeld disclosed the Fund's new projection for global economic growth.

The exercise assumes that US President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on the remaining $267 billion worth of Chinese goods imports not already under punitive tariffs and China retaliates in kind.

The tariffs stem from the Trump administration's demands that China make sweeping changes to its intellectual property practices, rein in high-technology industrial subsidies, open its markets to more foreign competition and take steps to cut a $375 billion USA goods trade surplus.

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