The IMF cuts global growth outlook to 3.3 percent

The Canadian dollar        , Reuters  Mark Blinch

The region's growth was earlier projected to reach 3.4 percent due to policy uncertainty and improved investment in large economies.

In a report published Tuesday, the global agency said it now projects Canada's economy will grow 1.5 per cent this year, down four-tenths of a percentage point from its previous estimate in January.

However, the fund downgraded China's economic growth for 2020 to 6.1 percent from its previous projection of 6.2 percent.

The World Economic Outlook report, released on Tuesday in Washington, also projects that Macau's economy will contract again in 2020, losing a tenth of a percentage point to 4.2%.

Beyond 2020, global growth is expected to level out at 3.6% over the medium term, driven by a moderation in expansion in advanced countries (caused by weak productivity growth and slow labour force growth) and the stabilisation of emerging market expansion at 2020 levels.

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According to the IMF's outlook report, China is on a low growth trajectory as its economy matures: it grew by 6.6 per cent last year and is projected to slow down to 6.3 per cent this year and 6.1 next year.

The outlook report said that India's growth is "supported by the continued recovery of investment and robust consumption amid a more expansionary stance of monetary policy and some expected impetus from fiscal policy". From an equivalent of 2.6% to gross domestic product (GDP), the gap is expected to narrow to 2.2% of GDP this year and then to 1.8% of GDP next year.

But chances of further cuts to the outlook are high, the Fund said in its World Economic Outlook report.

"This is a delicate moment for the global economy", Gita Gopinath, the IMF's chief economist, said at a news conference, while cautioning that the fund does not foresee an worldwide recession.

Germany might have to quickly turn to fiscal stimulus measures, the International Monetary Fund said, while calling on the European Central Bank to keep stimulating the regional economy.

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She said that monetary policy should remain data dependent, well communicated, and ensured that inflation expectations remained anchored. Its forecast for growth in Canada's economy was similarly lowered from 1.9 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

In relation to the struggling Barbados economy, the economist said once Government remained disciplined in implementing and meeting its targets, confidence should return, resulting in a strengthening of economic activity.

Fiscal policy will need to manage trade-offs between supporting demand, protecting social spending, and ensuring that public debt remains on a sustainable path, with the optimal mix depending on country-specific circumstances.

The euro zone economy lost more momentum than expected as consumer and business confidence weakened and auto production in Germany was disrupted by the introduction of new emission standards; investment dropped in Italy as sovereign spreads widened; and external demand, especially from emerging Asia, softened.

"There is a need for greater multilateral cooperation to resolve trade conflicts, to address climate change and risks from cybersecurity, and to improve the effectiveness of global taxation", she said.

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