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IMF raises global growth forecast, warns against protectionism

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By David Lawder

(Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund raised its 2017 global growth forecast on Tuesday due to manufacturing and trade gains in Europe, and China, but warned that protectionist policies threaten to choke a broad-based recovery.

The IMF, whose spring meetings with the World Bank get underway in this week, forecast that the would grow 3.5 percent in 2017, up from its previous forecast of 3.4 percent in January.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the Fund said that chronically weak advanced economies are expected to benefit from a cyclical recovery in global manufacturing and trade that started to gain momentum last summer.

"The economic upswing that we have expected for some

time seems to be materializing," chief economist Maurice Obstfeld wrote in the report.

The lifted Japan's 2017 growth projection by 0.4 percentage point from January, to 1.2 percent, while the eurozone and both saw a 0.1 percentage point growth forecast increase to 1.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the held its 2017 U.S. growth forecast steady at 2.3 percent, which still represents a substantial jump from 1.6 percent growth in 2016, partly due to expectations that President Donald Trump will cut taxes and increase government spending.

The also revised Britain's growth forecast to 2.0 percent for 2017, up a half percentage point from January.

Obstfeld said an anticipated pullback in consumer spending after last year's UK vote to leave the European Union had so far failed to materialize. He added that uncertainty over Britain's snap elections announced on Tuesday would not necessarily change the outlook, but a clear mandate from the British people could help Brexit negotiations.

"There was already uncertainty on how the negotiation would go and what it's final outlines would be. So, it may be that this is a tradeoff of a little more uncertainty before June 8 for less uncertainty later," Obstfeld told a conference.

For a table showing the IMF's latest growth projections, see

Although growth looks to be strengthening broadly among advanced and emerging market economies as well oil and commodity exporters that are starting to benefit from a commodity price recovery, including Russia and Brazil, the said the recovery remains fragile.

The faces headwinds from chronically weak productivity growth and policies that could constrict trade, the said. It did not specifically mention the Trump administration's "America First" trade agenda aimed at reducing U.S. trade deficits and turning away more imports.

"One salient threat is a turn toward protectionism, leading to trade warfare," Obstfeld said, adding this "would result in a self-inflicted wound that would lead to higher prices for consumers, lower productivity and therefore, lower overall real income for households."

The case against trade protectionism is expected to be a major theme of the semi-annual gathering of finance officials from the IMF, the World Bank and the Group of 20 major economies later this week. Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned last week that a "sword of protectionism" hung over a brightening global

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross pushed back in a Financial Times interview, saying such warnings were aimed at the Trump administration and were "rubbish," because the United States was less protectionist than its trading partners.

The also said that risks to the global also could come from a faster-than-expected pace of interest rate hikes in the United States, which could trigger a sharp rise in the dollar and disruptive capital outflows from emerging markets.

The Fund also said China's strong growth was clouded in the medium term by "growing vulnerabilities" associated with its reliance credit-fueled growth.

(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Diane Craft)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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IMF raises global growth forecast, warns against protectionism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund raised its 2017 global growth forecast on Tuesday due to manufacturing and trade gains in Europe, Japan and China, but warned that protectionist policies threaten to choke a broad-based recovery.

By David Lawder

(Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund raised its 2017 global growth forecast on Tuesday due to manufacturing and trade gains in Europe, and China, but warned that protectionist policies threaten to choke a broad-based recovery.

The IMF, whose spring meetings with the World Bank get underway in this week, forecast that the would grow 3.5 percent in 2017, up from its previous forecast of 3.4 percent in January.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the Fund said that chronically weak advanced economies are expected to benefit from a cyclical recovery in global manufacturing and trade that started to gain momentum last summer.

"The economic upswing that we have expected for some

time seems to be materializing," chief economist Maurice Obstfeld wrote in the report.

The lifted Japan's 2017 growth projection by 0.4 percentage point from January, to 1.2 percent, while the eurozone and both saw a 0.1 percentage point growth forecast increase to 1.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the held its 2017 U.S. growth forecast steady at 2.3 percent, which still represents a substantial jump from 1.6 percent growth in 2016, partly due to expectations that President Donald Trump will cut taxes and increase government spending.

The also revised Britain's growth forecast to 2.0 percent for 2017, up a half percentage point from January.

Obstfeld said an anticipated pullback in consumer spending after last year's UK vote to leave the European Union had so far failed to materialize. He added that uncertainty over Britain's snap elections announced on Tuesday would not necessarily change the outlook, but a clear mandate from the British people could help Brexit negotiations.

"There was already uncertainty on how the negotiation would go and what it's final outlines would be. So, it may be that this is a tradeoff of a little more uncertainty before June 8 for less uncertainty later," Obstfeld told a conference.

For a table showing the IMF's latest growth projections, see

Although growth looks to be strengthening broadly among advanced and emerging market economies as well oil and commodity exporters that are starting to benefit from a commodity price recovery, including Russia and Brazil, the said the recovery remains fragile.

The faces headwinds from chronically weak productivity growth and policies that could constrict trade, the said. It did not specifically mention the Trump administration's "America First" trade agenda aimed at reducing U.S. trade deficits and turning away more imports.

"One salient threat is a turn toward protectionism, leading to trade warfare," Obstfeld said, adding this "would result in a self-inflicted wound that would lead to higher prices for consumers, lower productivity and therefore, lower overall real income for households."

The case against trade protectionism is expected to be a major theme of the semi-annual gathering of finance officials from the IMF, the World Bank and the Group of 20 major economies later this week. Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned last week that a "sword of protectionism" hung over a brightening global

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross pushed back in a Financial Times interview, saying such warnings were aimed at the Trump administration and were "rubbish," because the United States was less protectionist than its trading partners.

The also said that risks to the global also could come from a faster-than-expected pace of interest rate hikes in the United States, which could trigger a sharp rise in the dollar and disruptive capital outflows from emerging markets.

The Fund also said China's strong growth was clouded in the medium term by "growing vulnerabilities" associated with its reliance credit-fueled growth.

(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Diane Craft)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

image
Business Standard
177 22

IMF raises global growth forecast, warns against protectionism

By David Lawder

(Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund raised its 2017 global growth forecast on Tuesday due to manufacturing and trade gains in Europe, and China, but warned that protectionist policies threaten to choke a broad-based recovery.

The IMF, whose spring meetings with the World Bank get underway in this week, forecast that the would grow 3.5 percent in 2017, up from its previous forecast of 3.4 percent in January.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the Fund said that chronically weak advanced economies are expected to benefit from a cyclical recovery in global manufacturing and trade that started to gain momentum last summer.

"The economic upswing that we have expected for some

time seems to be materializing," chief economist Maurice Obstfeld wrote in the report.

The lifted Japan's 2017 growth projection by 0.4 percentage point from January, to 1.2 percent, while the eurozone and both saw a 0.1 percentage point growth forecast increase to 1.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the held its 2017 U.S. growth forecast steady at 2.3 percent, which still represents a substantial jump from 1.6 percent growth in 2016, partly due to expectations that President Donald Trump will cut taxes and increase government spending.

The also revised Britain's growth forecast to 2.0 percent for 2017, up a half percentage point from January.

Obstfeld said an anticipated pullback in consumer spending after last year's UK vote to leave the European Union had so far failed to materialize. He added that uncertainty over Britain's snap elections announced on Tuesday would not necessarily change the outlook, but a clear mandate from the British people could help Brexit negotiations.

"There was already uncertainty on how the negotiation would go and what it's final outlines would be. So, it may be that this is a tradeoff of a little more uncertainty before June 8 for less uncertainty later," Obstfeld told a conference.

For a table showing the IMF's latest growth projections, see

Although growth looks to be strengthening broadly among advanced and emerging market economies as well oil and commodity exporters that are starting to benefit from a commodity price recovery, including Russia and Brazil, the said the recovery remains fragile.

The faces headwinds from chronically weak productivity growth and policies that could constrict trade, the said. It did not specifically mention the Trump administration's "America First" trade agenda aimed at reducing U.S. trade deficits and turning away more imports.

"One salient threat is a turn toward protectionism, leading to trade warfare," Obstfeld said, adding this "would result in a self-inflicted wound that would lead to higher prices for consumers, lower productivity and therefore, lower overall real income for households."

The case against trade protectionism is expected to be a major theme of the semi-annual gathering of finance officials from the IMF, the World Bank and the Group of 20 major economies later this week. Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned last week that a "sword of protectionism" hung over a brightening global

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross pushed back in a Financial Times interview, saying such warnings were aimed at the Trump administration and were "rubbish," because the United States was less protectionist than its trading partners.

The also said that risks to the global also could come from a faster-than-expected pace of interest rate hikes in the United States, which could trigger a sharp rise in the dollar and disruptive capital outflows from emerging markets.

The Fund also said China's strong growth was clouded in the medium term by "growing vulnerabilities" associated with its reliance credit-fueled growth.

(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Diane Craft)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

image
Business Standard
177 22