Sunday, 18 November, 2018

IMF Warns That Trump’s Trade War Is Devastating The World Economy

IMF predicts 7.3% growth rate for India in current fiscal year IMF gives Greece optimistic figures on growth and unemployment
Lloyd Bates | 13 October, 2018, 10:01

The Breton Woods institution, which said this at the Annual General Meetings of the IMF/World Bank now going in Bali, Indonesia, also revised downwards growth prospects for Nigeria in 2018 from 2.1 per cent to 1.9 per cent. "Thus, policymakers still have an excellent opportunity to build resilience and implement growth-enhancing reforms", Mr. Obstfeld said.

"In several key economies, moreover, growth is being supported by policies that seem unsustainable over the longer term".

United States growth this year remained steady at 2.9 percent but is set to slow in 2019 as the effect of Trump's sweeping tax cuts wear off and the trade dispute with China begins to set in.

It said that a full-blown trade war between the USA and China would put a significant dent in economic recovery.

Formally launching the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, Lagarde urged countries to "de-escalate" trade conflicts and fix global trading rules instead of abandoning them.

"Up from India's growth rate of 6.7 per cent in 2016, the growth projections for this year and the next reflect "a rebound from transitory shocks" of demonetisation and the implementation of the national Goods and Services Tax" and "strengthening investment and robust private consumption", WEO said.

Thus the expansion of the global economy would be reduced to around 2.9% both next year and in 2020.

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At the same time, they note that the growth is becoming less balanced and in some leading economies, it may already have peaked.

The IMF pointed out that a full-blown trade war between the world's largest and second largest economies will cause a significant dent to the economic recovery from the Great Recession of 2018. "To correct the underlying imbalances, fiscal and monetary actions needed to be undertaken without delay", reads the statement.

The trade confrontation weighs on China in particular, where growth is projected to slow to 6.6 per cent this year and 6.2 per cent in 2019, a downgrade of 0.2 points.

Asked about the US Treasury official's comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: "We have no intention of promoting exports through the competitive devaluation of our currency, and will not use the renminbi (yuan) exchange rate as a tool to respond to disputes in trade or other areas".

It also said inflation in India is on the rise, estimated at 3.6 percent in fiscal year 2017/18 and projected at 4.7 per cent in fiscal year 2018/19, compared to 4.5 percent in fiscal year 2016/17, amid accelerating demand and rising fuel prices.

Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF Economic Counsellor, warned against the rising tide of protectionism, saying that without multilateralism "the world will be a poorer and more unsafe place".

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