International Monetary Fund cuts global growth forecasts
10 October, 2018, 12:39 | Author: Sally Reid
"The downward revisions reflect to an important extent the worsening of growth prospects for Iran, following the re-imposition of United States sanctions", it said. "Several of the downside risks highlighted in the April 2018 World Economic Outlook (WEO) ... have become more pronounced or have partially materialized". This could trigger so-called capital flight, where assets from these markets are suddenly abandoned.
"There are clouds on the horizon".
"We have not been formally approached yet", said Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF's top economist, during the fund's annual meeting in Bali Tuesday.
Growth prospects in Africa are being held down by poor economic development in Nigeria, South Africa and Angola, the International Monetary Fund has said.
Despite the Federal Reserve´s interest rate increases, financial conditions "have eased further" in the USA as equity valuations have stayed lofty. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.7 percent to 7,735.95.
It said trade tensions between the USA and China, which has led the countries to implement tarriffs against each other, had played a role in the tempered global expectations.
The IMF's cut to its outlook was broad-based.
The risk of a global financial crisis initiated by sharp capital outflows in emerging markets due to the divergence of monetary policies in the U.S. and developing countries remains small but will grow as the Federal Reserve continues to raise its interest rates, as it is expected to do this year and next.
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The body now expects the USA economy to grow at a rate of 2.5 percent in 2019, a 0.2 percentage point decline from its April estimates.
The exercise assumes that US President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on the remaining $267 billion worth of Chinese goods imports not already under punitive tariffs and China retaliates in kind.
The downgrade reflects a confluence of factors, including the introduction of import tariffs between the United States and China, weaker performances by euro zone countries, Japan and Britain.
IMF's forecast for Singapore's economic outlook remains steady at 2.9% for 2018, but has been revised downward by 0.2 percentage points to 2.5% for the following year.
This year's growth for China stays at 6.6 per cent.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1.3 per cent to 23,469.39.
"Should market participants start pricing in the possibility of protracted trade tensions, financial conditions could tighten significantly, increasing the tail risk to global growth and financial stability", the International Monetary Fund said.
The IMF also sharply slashed growth forecasts for the whole Middle East and North Africa region due to the slump in the Iranian economy and increased energy costs. Global growth will slow to 3.6 per cent by 2022-2023, as growth in rich nations falls back to potential, it said. The acceleration relative to 2016-17 reflects a more supportive external environment, including stronger global growth, higher commodity prices, and improved capital market access, following efforts to improve fiscal balances in the aftermath of the commodity price slump.
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