International Monetary Fund cuts global growth forecasts

Govt decides to ‘immediately’ approach IMF

While the global economy is still on track to match last year's pace, which was the strongest since 2011, the new outlook suggests fatigue is setting in and the overall performance masked divergence with mounting weakness in emerging markets from Brazil to Turkey.

It is the first time the fund has cut its forecast in more than two years. The IMF pointed out that a full-blown trade war between the world's largest and second largest economies will cause a significant dent to the economic recovery from the Great Recession of 2018.

But "there are clouds on the horizon", he said.

The US will also see its growth "decline" once its fiscal stimulus, delivered through wide-ranging tax cuts "goes into reverse" according to Mr Obstfeld.

Meanwhile, Nigeria and other African countries who are members of the G-24, are set to discuss debt relieve, disaster aid and crises prevention with senior staff from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the ongoing Annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

The United States has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports, about half the annual total, and has threatened to slap levies on the full amount.

In the latest report, Taiwan's major trade partner South Korea is projected to grow 2.8% and 2.6% for 2018 and 2019, respectively, downward revisions by 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points from previous forecasts.

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The IMF forecasts US GDP growth this year of 2.9 per cent, slowing to 2.5 per cent in 2019 - which is 0.2 points slower than the July estimate -and to 1.8 per cent in 2020.

China was the fastest growing economy in 2017 as it was ahead of India by 0.2 percentage points.

China is trying to move away from its long-time reliance on heavy industry and manufactured exports towards a growth model based more on domestic consumption by its increasingly wealthy populace.

It also said inflation in India is on the rise, estimated at 3.6 per cent in fiscal year 2017/18 and projected at 4.7 per cent in fiscal year 2018/19, compared with 4.5 per cent in fiscal year 2016/17, amid accelerating demand and rising fuel prices.

For the eurozone, slow growth means less reductions in high unemployment rates in several countries and difficulty keeping on top of high debt levels, while Japan needs growth to ward off unsafe deflation.

These include instances where some key economies have supported their growth with policies that seem unsustainable over the longer term.

In its report the International Monetary Fund said the tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by the USA and China, weaker performances by eurozone countries, Japan and Britain all conspired to increase pressure on the global economy, while "the possible failure of Brexit negotiations poses another risk".

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