Thursday, 18 October, 2018

China trade war and Brexit threaten global growth says International Monetary Fund

President Trump addresses the International Association of Chiefs of Police at its annual convention Monday in Orlando President Trump addresses the International Association of Chiefs of Police at its annual convention Monday in Orlando
Andrew Cummings | 12 October, 2018, 22:47

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 benchmark stock index fell to the lowest in more than two years on Monday amid worries of the worsening economic crisis.

That includes President Donald Trump's imposition of tariffs on US$250 billion in Chinese goods, as well as on aluminium, steel and other products worldwide. The IMF projections don't take into account Mr Trump's threat to expand the tariffs to effectively all of the more than US$500 billion in goods the USA bought from China past year.

China and the United States have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs over the past few months, rattling financial markets as investors anxious the escalating trade war could knock global trade and investment.

Growth estimates for the euro area and Britain were also revised down with the report warning that growth "may have peaked in some major economies".

Finance ministers and central bankers from numerous IMF's 189 member nations are meeting in Bali this week with talk of rising protectionism taking center stage.

The IMF said Tuesday it projects continued growth in the United States, but at a slower pace next year. "The negative revisions for emerging market and developing economies are more severe, at minus 0.2 and minus 0.4 percentage point respectively for this year and next year".

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With much of the US-China tariff war's impact to be felt next year, the Fund cut its 2019 US growth forecast to 2.5 per cent from 2.7 per cent previously, while it cut China's 2019 growth forecast to 6.2 per cent from 6.4 per cent.

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

She declined to comment on the recent market rout, but said US equities and overall stock prices "in general have been extremely high". "However, it is projected to rise to 5.1 percent in 2019", the report said.

"Any sharp reversal for emerging markets would pose a significant threat to advanced economies".

The IMF chief later announced that she would send a mission to Pakistan for bailout negotiations amid emphasis on full disclosure of the debt Pakistan has acquired including from China.

The Swiss figures go against the current global economic growth trend, which the International Monetary Fund has reduced from its previous estimate of 3.9% to 3.7% for 2018 and 2019.

Global growth is expected to remain steady at 3.7 per cent in 2020, as the decline in advanced economy growth with the unwinding of the U.S. fiscal stimulus and the fading of the favorable spillovers from United States demand to trading partners is offset by a pickup in emerging market and developing economy growth.

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