International Monetary Fund cuts India's growth projection, but it still retains world's top spot

17 Juillet, 2018, 13:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Escalating and sustained trade conflicts following USA tariff actions threaten to derail economic recovery and depress medium-term growth prospects, the International Monetary Fund warned on Monday.

Among emerging market and developing economies, the International Monetary Fund report said growth prospects are becoming more uneven, amid rising oil prices, higher yields in the United States, escalating trade tensions, and market pressures on the currencies of some economies with weaker fundamentals.

The reduction in output takes into account tariffs already imposed by the United States on steel and aluminium, as well as an initial $34 billion in Chinese goods. Other threatened actions, which include another round of tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods and a 25 percent US global tariff on vehicle imports now under study, are also included.

The IMF lowered its 2018 growth projections for the United Kingdom from 1.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent in its monthly World Economic Outlook.

"The IMF had pointed out in April that good times in the global economy will not last and that "jarring" contradictions between growth momentum and a conflict over trade" will ultimately slowdown the global economy. Nigeria's growth is set to increase from 0.8% in 2017 to 2.1% in 2018 and 2.3% in 2019 on the back of an improved outlook for oil prices.

Despite this slight downgrade in its projections, India continues to outperform China, IMF's WEO update figures reflect.

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"As the focus of global retaliation, the U.S. finds a relatively high share of its exports taxed in global markets in such a broader trade conflict, and it is therefore especially vulnerable", Obstfeld added. Growth in China is projected to moderate from 6.9% in 2017 to 6.6% in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019, as regulatory tightening of the financial sector takes hold and external demand softens, the report said. Japan's growth projection was cut to 1% from 1.2%.

The Economic Survey 2017-18 presented on 29 January had estimated that every $10 per barrel increase in the price of oil reduces economic growth by 0.2-0.3 percentage point, increases wholesale inflation by about 1.7 percentage points and widens current account deficit by about $9-10 billion.

The IMF also trimmed 2018 forecasts for some emerging market countries, notably a half percentage point cut for Brazil to 1.8% due to the lingering effects of labour strikes and political uncertainty.

The global economy is still expected to grow at a solid pace this year, but worsening trade confrontations pose serious risks to the outlook, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

The IMF revised slightly upward 2018 forecasts for Saudi Arabia and several Commonwealth of Independent States countries other than Russian Federation.

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