International Monetary Fund urges nations to avoid trade wars risking global economy

15 Avril, 2019, 21:30 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Global economic growth risks skewed to the downside IMFC

While growth is projected to firm up in 2020, "risks remain tilted to the downside", according to a communique by the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the main advisory panel of the IMF's 189 member countries.

"The global expansion is continuing but at a slower pace", IMFC Chairman Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the South African Reserve Bank, said at a press conference on Saturday.

"I think this is true for all global institutions with the concerns about what's happening with world cooperation with multilateralism", Gopinath told Xinhua in a recent interview on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the World Bank and the IMF in Washington.

He said: " At the 39th meeting of the IMFC, we agreed to protect the expansion, we will continue to mitigate risk, enhance resilience, and, if necessary, act promptly to shore up growth for the benefit of all.

Coinciding with the institutions' meetings was a gathering of world financial leaders and central banks, who said the global economy was likely to pull out of a brief slump later this year.

In Japan, the economy is projected to expand by 1 percent in 2019, and the International Monetary Fund expects a gradual slowdown in growth to 0.5 percent next year.

The IMF on Tuesday lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3 percent in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report, down 0.2 percentage point from its estimation in January, signaling a broad-based slowdown.

"Asia also needs to focus on policies to sustain its growth momentum over the longer run in the face of declining productivity growth and rapid aging", Rhee said.

Trade policy uncertainty could pose a renewed threat to growth, he said.

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There is some cause for optimism.

Kristian Rouz - Deputy People's Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Chen Yulu says Beijing plans to further open up the nation's economy, particularly the financial sector, in a bid to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) and GDP growth.

In Europe, numerous global factors weighing on growth appear to be waning, keeping alive expectations for a recovery in the second half of the year, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said. -China trade agreement would go "way beyond" previous efforts to open China's markets to US companies and hoped that the two sides were "close to the final round" of negotiations.

Even if they do come to an agreement, a trade deal between the world's two biggest economies could have unintended consequences if China commits to purchases of United States goods that crowds out imports from other countries in Asia, Changyong Rhee, head of the IMF's Asia-Pacific department said on Friday.

Asked about trans-Atlantic trade tensions, European Commissioner of economic affairs Pierre Moscovici said it's time for the EU and U.S.to "cool down" and steer clear of a trade war.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on the sidelines of the meetings that a U.S.

Japan, which will kick off its own negotiations with the Trump administration in Washington on Monday aimed at averting automotive tariffs, also bemoaned the current state of trade.

But Chen Yulu, deputy governor of People's Bank of China, struck a less positive stance in his remarks to the International Monetary Fund policy committee, contending that rising trade protectionism in the form of punitive tariffs had already begun to disrupt global supply changes.

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