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

11 Octobre, 2018, 01:44 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Finance Minister Asad Umar says decision is taken after consulting leading economists

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". International Monetary Fund projected unemployment rate at 6.1 percent each in 2018 and 2019 much like the current year, but a percentage point up compared to six percent recorded in 2017.

Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF's chief economist, said at a media briefing about the fund's latest World Economic Outlook: "When you have the world's two largest economies at odds, that's a situation where everyone suffers".

Iran's economy is now forecast to contract this year and especially in 2019, by 3.6 percent, "on account of reduced oil production, before returning to modest positive growth in 2020-23", according to the International Monetary Fund.

To offset the effects of Federal Reserve rate rises, USA trade tariffs and domestic economic pressure caused by tighter financial regulation aimed at reducing debt risks in China's financial system, the Chinese authorities have eased monetary policy and the implementation of proposed new financial regulations.

Output could fall by more than 1.6 per cent in China and over 0.9 per cent in the USA next year, according to the IMF's models. "Not only have some downside risks we identified in the last WEO (World Economic Outlook) been realised, the likelihood of further negative shocks to our growth forecast has risen".

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Obstfeld applauded the government's pledges to push structural reforms to address its economic and financial issues, saying the Fund still views Pakistan with "immense potential" in growth.

"Notwithstanding the present demand momentum, we have downgraded our 2019 USA growth forecast owing to the recently enacted tariffs on a wide range of imports from China and China's retaliation". The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has already plunged 17.7 per cent this year, making the Chinese equity market the second worst stock market worldwide, only next to the Greek market, which has fallen 18.4 per cent.

"However, further reforms are needed to increase policy certainty, improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises, enhance flexibility in the labour market, improve basic education, and align training with business needs", it stated. In India, a high interest burden and risks from rising yields require continued focus on debt reduction to establish policy credibility and build buffers. "These efforts should be supported by further reductions in subsidies and enhanced compliance with the Goods and Services Tax".

If pressures on emerging market economies were to broaden and intensify, financial stability risks would increase significantly, he said.

The IMF said it expects inflation to accelerate around the world this year, due largely to increasing commodity prices.

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