Saturday, 18 November, 2017

International Monetary Fund says to revise up further China's growth forecast for 2017

IMFC finance ministers and governors meet at IMF and World Bank Meetings in Washington International Monetary Fund says to revise up further China's growth forecast for 2017
Kelvin Reese | 23 April, 2017, 03:30

Carstens, who is among the global financial officials attending the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings this week, said the goal was to take advantage of trade and that all members were "aligned" on the need for free and fair trade.

"The use of the word protectionism is very ambiguous", he told reporters at the conclusion of the meetings.

The United States, he said, welcomes the IMF's important work providing technical assistance to member countries to strengthen their regulatory and supervisory frameworks with respect to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

"In response, the administration is undertaking an ambitious policy agenda that includes tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure investment to sustainably raise United States economic output and employment", he said.

The G-20, at a meeting last month in Germany, dropped a pledge to oppose trade protectionism amid pushback from the Trump administration, which says trade policy needs to more clearly benefit American companies and workers.

It's unclear how far Trump will go in shaking up the workings of the global economy.

He also urged the International Monetary Fund to scrutinizes its member nation's exchange rates and identify "specific policy adjustments" for each country to counter global imbalances.

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But officials are warning that too many people have been left behind at a time when low-wage competition and automation have reduced factory jobs in the world's wealthy economies. Lagarde noted that strong language condemning protectionism and promoting efforts to combat climate change, while taken out of the communique, remained in a separate document setting out the IMF's policy agenda. The draft IMFC statement reiterated pledges from October to "refrain from competitive devaluations" of currencies and to avoid targeting "our exchange rates for competitive purposes".

"Countries with large external surpluses and sound public finances have a particular responsibility for contributing to a more robust global economy by deploying fiscal policy aggressively to boost growth and help facilitate global rebalancing", Mnuchin said.

"I think everybody is in line that we need free and fair trade, and I think that is what is really reflected in the communique". The differences in some countries' positions on protectionism were evident in comments delivered by officials at the IMFC meeting.

The communique largely adopted the trade language from a G20 statement issued last month in Baden Baden, Germany, where U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had said the anti-protectionism pledge was no longer relevant.

The US economy, he said, continues to expand at a steady pace and forecasts suggest stronger growth this year and next.

In addition, in language that could be seen as a jab at Germany - which posted a record trade surplus a year ago - Mnuchin said that "countries with large external surpluses and sound public finances have a particular responsibility for contributing to a more robust global economy".

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