WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2019 and warned growth could slow further due to trade tensions and a potentially disorderly British exit from the European Union. In its third downgrade since October, the global lender said some major economies, including China and Germany, might need to take short-term actions to prop up growth. It said it still expects that a sharp slowdown in Europe and some emerging market economies will give way to a general re-acceleration in the second half of 2019. “However, the possibility of further downward revisions is high, and the balance of risks remains skewed to the downside,” the Fund said in its World Economic Outlook report for the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington this week. The global economy will likely grow 3.3% this year, its slowest expansion since 2016, the IMF said in a forecast that cut 0.2 percentage point from its January outlook. The projected growth rate for next year was unchanged at 3.6%. More than two-thirds of the expected slowdown in 2019 owes to trouble in rich nations. “In this context, avoiding policy missteps that could harm economic activity should be the main priority,” the IMF said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2019.
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