losangelesnewstoday.com May 24, 2018

World trade system in danger of being torn apart, warns International Monetary Fund

18 April 2018, 12:24 | Maryann Sutton

In her latest blog Ms Lagarde says the financial system can benefit from blockchain technology in a number of ways. Wang Zhao AFP

In her latest blog Ms Lagarde says the financial system can benefit from blockchain technology in a number of ways. Wang Zhao  AFP

The World Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday, said that India's growth projections of 7.4 percent for this year and 7.8 percent for next year remained unchanged from the earlier estimates.

The economy would grow by 2.4 percent for the euro area, 1.2 percent for Japan, 6.6 percent for China, and 2.9 percent for the United States, said Africa's economy would grow by 3.4 percent this year with the economies of Nigeria and South Africa growing at 2.1 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.

The IMF statement said the Crown's fiscal position was strong and "provides space to accommodate the needs from strong economic and population growth", with increased spending on infrastructure able to be ramped up further if a bigger-than-expected tax take turned out to be structural.

The IMF said, two-thirds of countries accounting for about three-fourths of global output experienced faster growth in 2017 than in the previous year. "The global economic upswing that began around mid-2016 has become broader and stronger", Maurice Obstfeld says in the introduction to the spring edition of the World Economic Outlook (WEO). It foresees unemployment at 5.5% this year and 5.2% next year.

House describes 2017 a unique "breakout year", with growth boosted by the new federal child-care benefit and the oil rebound from sagging prices and the Fort McMurray fires. It says increased trade barriers - tariffs or other restrictions - could harm sentiment in financial markets, disrupt global supply chains and slow the spread of new technology.

Some central banks and governments are trying to get ahead of the curve.

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Despite the UK's muted growth prospects, the International Monetary Fund gave its blessing to interest rate increases from the Bank of England, noting that unemployment was close to record lows and further falls could add to wage pressures at a time when inflation was already above the government's 2% target.

The IMF also highlighted some risks for the Turkish economy.

"IMF chief Christine Lagarde last week warned governments to "steer clear of protectionism in all its forms", saying the trade frictions hurt poor consumers the most as costs increase, and that they also undermined a system that had broadened prosperity worldwide".

The global recovery is supported by "strong momentum, favorable market sentiment, accommodative financial conditions, and the domestic and worldwide repercussions of expansionary fiscal policy in the United States", the IMF said.

The IMF foresees that the developed economies will grow faster than their long-term growth potential, thereby narrowing the gap between output and production capacity, especially in Europe. One third of that uplift in United States growth is attributed to the Trump tax reform. With household debt still elevated, the International Monetary Fund says the RBNZ shouldn't relax mortgage lending restrictions any further.

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