Finance

International Monetary Fund revises Czech growth forecast

International Monetary Fund revises Czech growth forecast”

In a document generally positive about the current global economy, but flashing warning signs of potential trouble ahead, Tuesday's IMF World Economic Outlook foresees growth in Canada of 2.1 per cent this year and two per cent next year.

In 2019 the International Monetary Fund predicts a further slowing of the economy to 3 percent growth. The growth was driven by an increase in prices - for example, the average cost of an iPhone rose from $618 in 2016 to $798 in 2017 - rather than in volume terms, as the number of smartphones sold fell for the first time on record past year.

The study shows that a year ago, global smartphone sales stood at close to 1.5 billions - or one for every five people on the planet. This is the highest share of countries experiencing a year-over-year growth pickup since 2010. The IMF predicts oil prices will average about US$62 a barrel in 2018, compared with an estimate of about US$52 a barrel in October.

The global lender released its World Economic Outlook report in Washington DC on Tuesday, ahead of the IMF/World Bank Group Spring Meetings.

That is an improvement on the 3.8% global growth seen previous year.

The IMF has bailed out scores of countries over the years, including the United Kingdom in 1976 when the minority Labour government borrowed £2.3bn from the fund to stabilise the value of the pound; Iceland in 2008; and Greece in 2010, 2012 and 2015.

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Meanwhile, the forecast for global oil demand was increased by 30,000 bpd to 1.63 million bpd. Despite this, supplies remain ample and analysts said this would weigh on prices eventually.

Obstfeld said there was more of a "phoney war" between the U.S. and China than a return to the widespread use of tariffs in the Great Depression, but that there were signs that even the threat of protectionism was already harming growth.

The IMF economist said action to reduce imbalances between economies should be tackled in multilateral actions, adding that surplus and deficit countries should co-ordinate actions to bring their spending programmes more closely into line with their income levels.

The IMF issued the update to its World Economic Outlook on the eve of spring meetings in Washington this week of the 189-nation IMF, the World Bank and the Group of 20 major economies. One third of that uplift in U.S. growth is attributed to the Trump tax reform.

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.

However, it warned that performance could be curtailed by trade barriers.

The IMF has also strongly criticised the approach of the Trump administration to trade deficits. And the large deficits Trump and the Republican majority in Congress made a decision to run to finance immediate fiscal stimulus will eventually force spending cuts and tax increases, the International Monetary Fund says.



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